Friend Or Foe: Do Octopus Attack Humans?

do octopus attack humans

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Octopuses are some of the most intelligent animals in our oceans. With eight tentacles and a large head, they grab onto their prey and paralyze them using their venom.

Although Octopuses can seem horrifyingly dangerous, is there really anything to worry about when around these creatures?

In this post, we’re going to answer a question that many of our readers ask. Do Octopus attack humans?

No, Octopuses do not attack humans, but they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. They should be treated with respect and care, as every single species of Octopus contains venom.

Do Octopuses Really Attack Humans?

It is incredibly rare to be attacked by an Octopus. However, some large species such as the Giant Pacific Octopus may attack divers if they feel threatened, but no Octopus attacks have caused serious harm or death to humans.

These animals are super intelligent and understand that we are not on the menu. After all, their mouths are far too small to consume us anyway.

Although it is a scary thought to be attacked by an Octopus, the chances of it happening are almost non-existent, so next time you see one in the wild, try not to panic.

As long as you treat this animal with respect and do not threaten or get too close, you should have no issues being around even large Octopuses.

Why Do Octopuses Attack Humans?

In the rare instances where Octopuses do attack humans, it is important to note that all attacks have occurred after humans have invaded the territory or personal space of an Octopus.

These animals can be territorial, so it’s not a good idea to go poking around an Octopus den.

Octopuses may also attack if they feel threatened, as will most animals. If you get up too close to an Octopus or try to touch it, don’t be surprised if it attacks.

Check out this video of an Octopus attacking a diver:

Octopuses are wild animals that should not be touched and can exhibit unpredictable behavior at times.

It is always best to admire Octopuses from afar, as they could inflict serious harm to a person if they really wanted to.

Under their large heads and many tentacles, they have sharp beaks which they use to eat and consume their prey.

This beak is also used to bite and disperse venomous bacteria which you certainly don’t want to get too close to.

Are Octopuses Dangerous To Humans?

Despite all Octopuses carrying venom, they are usually not a danger to humans. Providing people show them the respect they deserve, they are very unlikely to bite or cause harm to a human.

In fact, most Octopuses are shy creatures and are quite friendly toward humans.

Octopuses are seriously smart animals that have the ability to recognize human faces, which is rare in the animal kingdom.

Scientific American even reported a story that an Octopus at the University of Otago in New Zealand took a disliking to one of the staff.

Every time the woman would walk past the Octopuses tank, it would squirt a jet of water at her.

However, Octopuses have also been known to be playful too, and sometimes play with divers and swimmers whilst in the ocean.

As a whole, Octopuses are not dangerous to humans provided they are treated with respect and care.

What To Do If An Octopus Attacks You

If you do find yourself being attacked by an Octopus, you should pull away immediately before it pulls you toward its beak.

The grip of an Octopus can be a hard one to break, so focus on removing one tentacle at a time and try not to panic.

In most cases, you will be able to overpower an Octopus, but some species such as the Giant Pacific Octopus can be incredibly strong, and take real focus to remove yourself from their grip.

When an Octopus attacks a human, they often anchor itself to a rock or another surface it can hold on to.

If you’re struggling to remove the tentacles, try removing the Octopus from the anchor instead. Pick up the rock to make the Octopus lose its pull on you.

If you’re close to the surface, you should swim to the surface immediately. Octopuses do not like being out of the water, and if you break the surface they will often let go of you and retreat.

In this worst-case scenario of being attacked by an Octopus, try not to panic and focus on removing the octopus’s grip, and the chances are it will flee.

Final Thoughts

Do Octopuses attack humans? No, hardly ever. It’s incredibly rare to be attacked by an Octopus, and if you are it’s likely that you have invaded its personal space.

Most Octopuses are shy and can even be friendly toward humans. However, if you do find yourself being attacked then try to remove their tentacles from yourself one by one and then get out of there as soon as possible.

This is an incredibly rare scenario that almost never happens, but as more and more people are keeping Octopuses as pets nowadays, you should be aware of how to escape the grip of an Octopus.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope it’s been helpful in understanding more about the Octopus.

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