Horror as UK backpacker risks death playing with venomous octopus

A British backpacker downunder has escaped death after handling a highly dangerous blue-ringed octopus.

A video posted to Facebook shows UK man Ross Saunders enjoying his time in Australia by encouraging his friend to drop the deadly octopus on his bare forearm.

"Been an interesting two-day introduction to fishing," he wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

"Watched two amazing sunsets, saw dolphins and caught a blue-ringed octopus, one of the most dangerous animals in the world and didn't even realise. I think fishing in Oz might be a lot different to back home."

The blue-ringed octopus holds enough venom to kill 26 humans in just minutes. They usually don't grow much larger than a golf ball and their bites are small and often painless, meaning their victims often don't realise they're in danger until they start struggling to breathe.

There is no anti-venom available for their bite but it can be treated if caught in time.

After video of the incident went viral, outraged Australians have pointed out the tourist put his life at risk.

"You could've died. Have no common sence about the dangerous animals, creatures and mammals Australia has [sic]. You made the news for being complete brainless dumb morons," one person wrote in a scathing comment on Saunders' Facebook.

"Too damn bad you didnt get bitten. Aus don't need f**kwits like you. Cruel bastard. Dead set Losers [sic]," another wrote.

He's not the first tourist to be called out for playing with one of the deadly little creatures this year. 

Another traveller had a close call after accidentally handling an octopus in a video uploaded to Reddit in January.