Australian teenager's legs ravaged by tiny, unknown sea creatures
An Australian teenager emerged from a Melbourne beach with his legs dripping blood in an incident that baffled doctors and marine experts alike.
16-year-old Sam Kanizay paid a visit to Dendy Street Beach in Brighton on Saturday to relax after playing a game of football.
Kanizay told Australian outlet the Age that after spending about 30 minutes in the waist-deep water, his legs began to feel tingly and numb, a sensation he accredited to having just played sports.
But when the 16-year-old emerged from the water, he discovered to his horror that his feet and ankles were covered in what appeared to be hundreds of tiny holes, which were bleeding profusely.
After the teen returned home, his parents attempted to stop the bleeding to no avail. They then rushed him to Sandringham Hospital emergency department, where doctors couldn't even figure out what had happened to their son.
The next day, Kanizay's father, Jarrod, went back to the beach with a net full of meat to try and capture the creatures that had bitten his son.
What he netted was the stuff of nightmares -- dozens of tiny, bug-like creatures feasting on the chunks of meat he used as bait.
WARNING: This footage may be disturbing to some viewers.
Marine scientist Dr. Genefor Walker-Smith examined the specimens netted by Kanizay's father and was able to identify the creatures as sea fleas.
Although Dr. Walker-Smith says these tiny carnivores will feed on human flesh, she says there is no reason to be alarmed by them.
She told the Age that the extent of Kanizay's bite wounds was highly unusual, suggesting that a swarm of fleas might have been attracted by a cut in his skin or that the teenager may have stepped on a fish carcass they were feeding on.
She says she would not recommend closing the beach, and even said that it was likely safe for people to continue swimming there.
"I think this is quite a rare thing. I really just think [Sam] was in the wrong place at the wrong time, probably," she said.