Australia is infamous for its deadly creatures. In fact, it is the home of a majority of the world’s most dangerous snakes and animals. The thought of crocodiles, spiders, and snakes already sounds terrifying enough, but after you hear this story, you might end up squirming in your seat. Judging by what this unlucky Aussie teen had to go through, you’ll know that even the tiniest and most unassuming animals can be life-threatening.
Warning: This post contains graphic photos and clips.
Teen in Hospital After Australian Sea Creatures Chew Up His Ankle
Sixteen-year-old Sam Kanizay thought it was just another afternoon at Dendy Street Beach. He resides in Brighton, one of Melbourne’s most famous suburbs and home to the world-famous Brighton Beach Boxes. The teen stated in an interview that he headed to the water to soak his sore legs after a football match. But when he stepped out of the water half an hour later, he was stunned to see that his ankles were spilling with blood.
Scroll down for the videos
As soon as Sam alerted his parents, they immediately consulted medical help. At first, the doctors and marine biologists were baffled by the extent of his injuries.
So what were these creatures that caused Sam’s deep wounds?
The answer is quite surprising. Turns out, the boy’s legs were viewed as a three-course meal for sea fleas, specifically the species known as lyssianassid amphipods. Normally, these tiny crustaceans are parasites of fish. Whenever they attack humans, they leave just tiny pinpricks that are similar to a rash.
Jarrod Kanizay, Sam’s father, witnessed just how severe his son’s injuries were and decided to investigate himself. He did so by dropping a chunk of raw steak in the same area where his son was attacked. After drawing a net to capture the culprits, he was stunned to see hundreds of tiny sea fleas feasting on the meat.
Marine biologist Dr. Genefor Walker-Smith told Australia’s Herald Sun that the bugs were lysianassid amphipods or sea fleas. These creatures can be found around the world, not just Australia.
It was likely that the flesh-eating sea lice were disturbed when Sam entered the water. The beach could also be holding a higher population than normal, which may have caused the massive fish deaths in the area as well.
Sea lice are known to thrive in shallow areas. They help balance out the ecosystem by feeding on dead creatures. Sea lice don’t select their prey at random, instead, they are known to detect open wounds first.