On Aug. 5, 2017, in Melbourne, Australia, Sam Kanizay took a bath in the waters on Brighton Beach where he was struck with an unexpected surprise.
Kanizay is a 16-year-old football player. On Saturday night, he was sore from practice and thought it was a great idea to take a bath in his hometown beach. Kanizay was waist deep in the water relaxing, while listening to music on his iPhone. When he got out of the water, his legs were bleeding extensively. There were thousands of tiny bites up and down his legs and an ample amount of blood. Kanizay rushed home to show his dad.
The bleeding would not stop, so he was taken to the hospital and admitted. At first, nurses and doctors were stunned and had no idea what could have caused the extensive bleeding.
The water was so cold it numbed his feet, and he was oblivious to any pain and what was happening in the water. Kanizay described the pain as an eight out of 10. The doctors immediately attempted treatment and examined the injuries.
Kanizay’s father, a resident of the Brighton Beach area for 21 years, went back to the scene to inspect the area. He returned to the hospital with thousands of flesh eating, mite-like creatures. Each one was about two millimeters in length.
Genefor Walker-Smith, a marine scientist at the Museum Victoria in Melbourne, examined the tiny water bugs. She concluded that the creatures found in the beach’s water were known as lysianassid amphipods.
Also called, Sea Bugs, the creatures are minuscule scavenging crustaceans that are attracted to the chemicals emitted from decaying flesh. The flesh-eating bugs are not considered dangerous and are usually found in swarms.
Smith describes the event as an “unlucky occurrence.” She said Kanizay may have disturbed a feeding ground for the sea bugs.
Kanizay is a calm and collected kid, who has kept a positive attitude throughout the whole incident. He is currently in recovery and doing well.
Written by Breanna Harris
Edited by Jeanette Smith
The Washington Post: Flesh-eating sea bugs attacked an Australian teen’s legs: ‘There was no stopping the bleeding.’
Snopes: Did an Australian Teen Get Attacked By Flesh-Eating Sea Bugs?
CBS NEWS: What chewed up an Australian teen’s feet in the shallows?
Featured and Top Image by Hans Hillewaert Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License