Man beaten up by angry octopus treats injuries with Coca-Cola

Illustration for article titled Man beaten up by angry octopus treats injuries with Coca-Cola
Photo: Robert Cianflone (Getty Images)

Australians must already live in constant fear of kangaroos, crocodiles, giant spiders, sharks, snakes, stingrays, and dingos. Now, they’ve got to worry about octopuses that will gleefully slap the shit out of anyone they damn well please. But there is hope for those pummeled by eight raging tentacles: novelist Lance Karlson has discovered that if one is left battered and stung by a furious, venomous octopus, a can of Coke can help alleviate the pain.

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Karlson, his wife, and their daughter had been walking on the beach of Geographe Bay in Western Australia when he spotted an octopus going apeshit on an innocent seagull. He decided to whip out his phone and start filming, because as you can imagine, a pissed-off octopus makes for A+ Instagram material. After the octopus finished teaching the seagull a lesson it’d never forget, it swam directly toward Karlson and began violently thrashing its tentacles while glaring at him and his daughter with beady little eyes that screamed “COME AT ME, BRO.” Having too much sense to fight an octopus, Karlson ignored it and went back to enjoying his day. About 20 minutes later he decided to go for a swim, foolishly believing that the octopus wouldn’t be lurking in the shadows waiting to kick his ass.

Karlson told told 7NEWS that he was admiring a formation of seashells when, out of the blue, the octopus assaulted him.

“I was only there for a few seconds looking at the shells when I was struck on the arm from behind,” he said. “My goggles fogged up and then I was struck again, this time of the neck. I quickly swam back to shore, around 25 metres away.”

When Karlson returned to shore his neck was covered in visible red welts, and there were tentacle imprints across his lower back that stung like mad. The family immediately went back to their hotel room to treat Karlon’s injuries.

“We didn’t have any vinegar to pour on it, which is what you usually do with any kind of ocean sting, so I asked my wife to pour Coke on it and the sting went away,” he said. “I didn’t actually know if Coke would work, but given how acidic it is I decided it was worth trying. Turns out it works.”

Karlson said he’s been stung by all manner of things that live in the ocean, and yet still continues to swim in spite of the evidence that the citizens of the sea want him to stay the hell off their underwater turf. Karlson said that this octopus sting was not as painful as that of the blue bottle octopus and didn’t require medical attention, all but guaranteeing that he is going to get the everliving shit kicked out of him by insulted cephalopods if he ever goes swimming in Geographe Bay again.

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Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.

DISCUSSION

northbx
burner'down

No seagull is innocent.

This is pretty typical behavior for an animal defending territory / a nest. Octopuses are known to do both. This guy should have recognized the behavior and given the animal space, and also recognized that the pile of shells was probably its nest. Fortunately it was he and not his small child that got attacked for being stupid; an octopus that size could probably drown a small human.