Warning: graphic images follow.
If you thought you’ve seen it all, you haven’t seen this yet — an Australian teenager landed in the hospital after his legs were bitten by multiple “mite-sized sea critters”.
16-year-old Sam Kanizay decided to cool off at the Dendy Street Beach in Brighton after football with a quick dip in the ocean, according to reports.
Sam described feeling pins and needles in his legs after standing waist-deep in the cold water for almost half an hour on BBC’s World Update radio show.
“My first instinct was that I must have stepped on a rock,” Sam told The Age. “But I realized that couldn’t have been it, because it was evenly distributed over my whole ankle and foot.”
“I wasn’t really thinking about being eaten.”
“It looked like a war injury… like a grenade attack. It was really bloody,” his father Jarrod Kanizay told BBC News.
Mr Kanizay continued, “We got him in the shower but as soon as we did that the blood kept re-appearing.”
“It wasn’t clotting at all. It just kept bleeding and bleeding.”
“We had the emergency room full of everybody that was working there just fascinated, they were all on Google afterwards, hypothesizing as to what happened. They pretty much had 10 different hypotheses but nothing yet,” Jarrod said to The Age.
After two local hospitals couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the pin-prick injuries, Jarrod himself went to investigate at the beach.
“I collected these strange creatures from the same spot last night by trapping them in a net and standing in the water myself,” Jarrod said.
“We got thousands of these little mite-type bugs and they’ve been sent on to experts.”
“We are just waiting on the experts to tell us what they are and how they behave and why this happened,” he added.
Marine biologist Dr Genefor Walker-Smith told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper that the bugs were probably lysianassid amphipods, or sea fleas.
“It’s possible he disturbed a feeding group but they are generally not out there waiting to attack like piranhas,” she continued.
Although experts say we should keep calm, people are shook.
as if australia wasnt dangerous enough, now we have microscopic flesh eating sea fleas that live in sand on beaches
— jake (@fleets) August 7, 2017
This lad looks for cool, like was nothing. I'd be fainting, for sure. What the heck, Australia? Even our sea fleas are deadly.
— Angelin Sydney (@Angelin_Sydney) August 7, 2017
"An Australian Teenager's Legs Were Eaten By Sea Fleas " and people still ask me why i say i'm never going to Australia …
— jynx de Electro (@magssantiagoo) August 7, 2017
Australia might have taken the biggest L this year with this whole "sea fleas" story
— Stephen Somsky (@Soms_22) August 7, 2017
A Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning spokesman said these sea fleas were part of a “common and natural part of a healthy marine ecosystem” which help “keep our marine waters clean by consuming dead and dying marine animals”.
“I think this is quite a rare thing. I really just think [Sam] was in the wrong place at the wrong time, probably,” Dr Walker-Smith added.