Octopus bites woman after she put creature on face for photo: 'It was going to take out my flesh'
A Washington state woman was bitten by an octopus as she placed the creature on her face for a photo opportunity last week.
Fishing guide Jamie Bisceglia, 45, landed in the hospital after she held the juvenile creature up to her chin during a fishing derby in the Tacoma Narrows on Aug. 2, she told KIRO.
"It was a photo contest in the derby," she told the station. "So, crazy me, hindsight now and looking back, I probably made a big mistake."
At first, Bisceglia recalled the cephalopod suctioning to her face with its tentacles "squirming in my ear, my nose."
However, she told Fox News, she and other onlookers quickly realized the seemingly playful creature wasn't as friendly as she thought.
"All of a sudden its beak entered my chin and my eyes popped open wide and they could all see that I was getting attacked, and the photos are taken at the moment it was attacking me," she told the outlet. "When it bites you it feels like it's barbed and if I pulled it out it was going to take out my flesh."
Though the majority of an octopus' body is soft and boneless, its hard beak is made of chitin, the same substance that makes up the exoskeletons of arthropods such as insects, spiders and crustaceans, Sandy Trautwein, vice president of animal husbandry at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., told Live Science.
"An octopus beak looks similar to a parrot's beak and is embedded in strong muscle tissue called a buccal mass," she told the site over email.
After an octopus captures and reels in its meal with its strong tentacles, it uses its beak to break through the shell of its prey.
"Once there is a hole in the shell, octopuses inject venomous saliva into their prey to paralyze or kill it," Trautwein said.
Bisceglia said the creature's venom left her in immense pain and with swelling, and that she had to be prescribed three different antibiotics after the incident.
Ultimately, she told KIRO she has no plans to handle an octopus in the same manner in the future.
"This was not a good idea," she told the station. "I will never do it again."
As for the octopus? In a cruel turn of the tables, Bisceglia says she ate it for dinner.
In May, a Chinese blogger went viral when she live-streamed her attempts to eat a live octopus.
In a clip of the incident, the sea creature can be seen suctioning itself to the face of a woman, who goes by "seaside girl Little Seven," while she desperately tries to pull the creature off.