But Can They Freeze & Shatter Opponents?: Antarctic Octopuses With Sub-Zero Venom

August 4, 2010


Okay so maybe Antarctica isn't the desolate wasteland I've always imagined it to be. Yes, yes it is too and there's nothing you can say that'll change my mind. But in the water, well, that's a whole nother can of worms tentacles.

A research expedition to Antarctica to study the region's octopus life has returned with descriptions of four new species, and the first known sub-zero venoms.

"Antarctic octopus venom works at temperatures that would stop other venoms in their tracks," said biochemist Bryan Fry of the University of Melbourne, who led the expedition.

Antarctic octopuses eat a wide variety of animals, from clams to fish. They catch their prey with their tentacles and use their venom to kill them, much like snakes.

The venoms are being studied as potential sources of pain-killers, Fry said, because they work on the nervous system. So far, analysis of the venom has revealed two toxins that are new to science.

The scientists still don't know what biochemical tricks the octopuses use to keep their venom working at freezing temperatures.

Now if I was a spy I'd be on a plane to Antarctica right this second to get my hands on some of these octopi. That way I could kill my enemies with poison they don't even know exists. Are you getting this, 007? Haha, what do you mean "not now, I'm having sex"? WHO'S IN THERE WITH YOU -- OCTOPUSSY? That's it, you better cover yourselves -- I'm coming in! *kicks down door* Goldfinger! WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU DOING HERE?!

Hit the jump for more Antarctic octopus pictures than you could shake a chopstick at! (Provided you can't shake a chopstick at more than four)






Antarctic Octopuses Discovered With Sub-Zero Venom [wired]

Thanks to Joe and Divo, who, despite the threat of Sub-Zero venom, are still convinced Scorpion would still kill them a cage-match.

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