6 Daredevil Dives
Blue Ring Octopus
Blue Ring Octopus
As mollusks go, the four species of blue ring octopuses of the Western Pacific certainly don’t appear threatening. The diminutive five-to nine- inch creatures can be hard to spot, dwelling in the crevices of reefs or crawling over sand in search of prey. At rest, its pale, thin blue rings are barely visible. When agitated, its blue rings become engorged, appearing brighter and pulsating with an eerie iridescence. That warning is to be taken seriously. Bites from a blue ring deliver an unusually deadly toxin that quickly paralyzes victims. All species have been responsible for human fatalities, typically from accidental contact or careless handling.
Yet the octopus is unaggressive and represents a world-class sighting for species-driven divers. “It’s somewhat common to see the blue ring octopus during our Southern Visayas itinerary, a macro-critter hot spot,” says Susie Erbe, a manager with Worldwide Dive and Sail International, which operates the Siren Fleet of live-aboards that scours the Coral Triangle. “The octopus is often seen in the open reef during daytime, while under the lights of piers at night, the blue ring can be seen hunting over shallow sandy areas. They’re beautiful, but you keep your distance.”
There is diving – the casual pursuit of water time for the simple fun of it. And then there's DIVING — exploring new frontiers and edgy locations where divers are few and far between. It’s about discoveries with purpose, and exotic marine life that are truly exceptional. Risk? Sure, there’s some. But the rewards are substantial. For anyone who loves checking off another species (and an excuse to travel around the world), here are diving’s most daring encounters.