Flesh-eating sea bugs attacked Australian teen
When 16-year-old Sam Kanizay waded into the water off Brighton Beach late Saturday, it wasn’t anything unusual for the Australian teen. His legs were sore from football practice, so he stood and let the cold waters soothe his feet. It wasn’t until he emerged from the water that he realized his feet were bleeding. Profusely.
His family discovered thousands of tiny bites on the teen’s legs. There was also a massive amount of blood. Sam’s injuries baffled doctors and nurses at first.
His father, Jarrod Kanizay, returned to the bay. Using a pool net and some raw meat, he collected thousands of what looked like mites, each of them about 2 millimeters long.
Genefor Walker-Smith, a marine biologist at Museum Victoria in Melbourne, identified the creatures as lysianassid amphipods, minuscule scavenging crustaceans that are attracted to the chemicals emitted by decaying meat, the museum said in a statement. Sometimes referred to as “sea fleas,” the amphipods will not cause lasting damage, she said.