Keen fisherwoman Jamie Bisceglia knew there was a photo contest at the Tacoma fishing derby and when she saw fisherman had caught a small octopus she made a rash decision.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on August 8, 2019

A woman wanted to win a photo contest at a fishing meeting when she saw some fishermen had caught an octopus.

Jamie Bisceglia, who was taking part in the fishing derby in Tacoma Narrows, Washington, grabbed the octopus and told someone to take a photo. She put the octopus on her face.

“It was a photo contest in the derby,” Bisceglia told ABC affiliate TV station KIRO. “So, crazy me, hindsight now and looking back, I probably made a big mistake.”

The small soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc latched on with its suckers and bit her face.

“It had barrelled its beak into my chin and then let go a little bit and did it again,” she said. “It was a really intense pain when it went inside and it just bled, dripping blood for a long time.”

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Bisceglia said it was a small Giant Pacific octopus, but the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium said it could have also been a Pacific Red octopus. Both species have a powerful beak used to break open and eat crabs, clams and mussels.

An octopus’ bite contains a poisonous venom used to immobilise prey.

Bisceglia suffered incredible pain after the bite, but continued fishing for two more days before going to the emergency room.

“I’m still in pain,” she told KIRO. “I’m on three different antibiotics. This can come and go, the swelling, for months they say.”

She said handling the sea creature was a bad idea and will never do it again.

But that’s not all she learned. Bisceglia took the biting creature home, cooked it and ate it and said it was delicious.