Life saved as Weibo post takes sting out of deadly hotpot octopus
"Can I eat this octopus?"
It was a question that may have ended up saving lives.
A Weibo user posted on Monday, asking @博物杂志, a popular science magazine on Weibo with more than 10 million followers, if the dish he had ordered at a hotpot restaurant contained a poisonous striped blue-ringed octopus.
"It really does!" was the magazine's reply.
"The blue-ringed octopus contains strong toxins which are similar to those of a puffer fish and do not break down easily," Yue Yisong, an editor of the magazine, explained.
Weibo users commended the inquisitive netizen as very knowledgeable, saying that they would probably have just eaten the unusual-looking octopus if they were in a similar situation.
How did it get into the market?
"The blue-ringed octopus has a similar living environment to the octopus we often eat, so it can be caught and brought to the market along with other octopuses," Yue said. "But the odds are very low."
The blogger said on Tuesday that he had prepared a new Weibo topic, "Guides to Saving Your Life at the Table", to introduce poisonous animals and plants that people may see normally and "save their life" if anyone eats them.