Woman puts venomous octopus on face for photo op, gets bitten twice and ends up with a bleeding and swollen chin
Jamie Bisceglia made the mistake of putting an octopus on her face for a picture for a competition and wound up in the emergency room.
TACOMA, WASHINGTON: A Washington woman who wanted to click a snazzy picture of herself with an octopus on her face got more than she bargained for after the creature bit her twice and left her with painful swelling that could take months to heal.
Jamie Bisceglia got the idea for the photo op after she met up with some fishermen who had hooked a small octopus during a fishing derby in the Tacoma Narrows on Friday, Aug 2, according to KIRO7.
She had enrolled in a photo contest in the derby and, in the octopus, saw an opportunity for a picture that she felt could win her the big prize. So, she took the creature and put it on her face, a move that she now says was a "big mistake."
She managed to snap two photos, with the second one capturing her horror as she realized she had not thought the move through.
In the first, as the octopus latched itself on her face with its suckers, she can be seen flashing a wide smile at the camera, with no idea what's about to happen. In the second, she can be seen writhing in pain as she desperately tried to claw it off her face.
The octopus, which is believed to have been a juvenile version of either a giant Pacific octopus or Pacific red octopus, had used its sharp beak - which it generally uses to break the shells of prey such as crabs, clams, and mussels - to bite her twice on the face. They also inject the prey with a venom that immobilizes them.
"It had barreled its beak into my chin and then let go a little bit and did it again," she told KIRO7. "It was a really intense pain when it went inside and it just bled, dripping blood for a long time."
She shared the pictures of the bizarre incident on her Facebook page and wrote, "Yes, that is an octopus on my face. I didn't know they had a beak that they can inject into you. Well, it happened to me. My chin is swollen up and would not stop bleeding and now it's just oozing. I'm going to cook it for dinner!"
Despite the incident leaving her in incredible pain, Bisceglia, who owns fishing tour guide company South Sound Salmon Sisters, continued her fishing trip for another two days before she finally made her way to the emergency room for treatment. By that time, the left side of her face was paralyzed.
She revealed that she was still in pain and that, even though the doctors had given her three different antibiotics to treat her symptoms, the swelling may come and go for a few more months.
She said she had learned a valuable lesson. "This was not a good idea," she admitted. "I will never do it again."
However, she did go through with her promise of eating the octopus. "WOW! I never imagined such a wonderful foraged dinner! I love octopus" she posted.