An Australian teenager was taken to the hospital after getting bit by not-so-known marine animals, making his feet bleed without noticing it.

After a hard football training, this young boy decided to take a swim in the sea, within his living area. He relaxed so much he didn’t realize he was bleeding after he washed from the dirt of the sand.

Lysianassid amphipods, a type of scavenging crustacean. Image Credit: Museums Victoria
Lysianassid amphipods, a type of scavenging crustacean. Image Credit: Museums Victoria

Sam Kanizay, a 16-year-old teenager, living in the area of Melbourne, Australia, whose active family participate in triathlons at the ocean, went for a half-hour swim after his football practice on Saturday and ended up bitten while listening to the music of his iPhone.

He barely knew why his knees, ankles, and feet had blood all over them when he went out of the water. He tried to wash off the blood, but the bleeding didn’t stop. He ran rapidly to his dad, and both of them took a ride to the hospital when they saw they couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding.

“We live across the road from the beach,” Jarrod Kanizay, his father, told The Washington Post. “He hobbled home pretty quickly. He rang me, actually, from outside. … He said, ‘Dad, you better come down outside.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Just come down!’… We were pretty amazed.”

What he was told in the hospital

He couldn’t see nor feel the tiny little sea creatures biting him when he was floating. It was a normal day he told local media – speaking from the hospital bed -, it wasn’t the first time he swam deep into the ocean at Brighton Beach.

Maybe it was the water combined with the tiredness of his legs that didn’t let Sam feel when the marine creatures were eating his skin; not even after standing in the bay. But, amazingly, told his father when coming to hospital the pain was “up to an eight out of 10″.

Sam Kanizay, whose legs were filled with tiny bloodied holes after he went swimming. Image Credit: Australia Pool / AP
Sam Kanizay, whose legs were filled with tiny bloodied holes after he went swimming. Image Credit: Australia Pool / AP

Hunting for the cause

After living in the Brighton Beach for 20 years, Jarrod Kanizay posted and asked his friends, family, and neighbors on Facebook what could have bit his son’s feet. But not an answer was given.

He did not let himself be overcome, so he went right to the same exact beach the following night, and with a pool net full of bait – specifically, meat – grabbed and filmed a bunch of rare and mysterious animals crunching on the chunks.

“I hadn’t heard of this happening before, and neither had my friends or any of the medics,” the Australian dad said. “Since the story broke, there have been some people who have had minor bleeding and, therefore, they would go to just their local doctor.”

These creatures look like mites and measure around 2 millimeters long. “What is really clear is these little things really love meat,” he added.

Experts claim that these creatures are not aggressive, they might not attack you like if they were sharks or crocodiles just wanting to eat.

Image Credit:Jarrod Kanizay/AAPSource:AAP
Image Credit:Jarrod Kanizay/AAPSource:AAP

A marine biologist at Museum Victoria in Melbourne called Genefor Walker-Smith said in a statement that these creatures are known as lysianassid amphipods, minuscule scavenging crustaceans who feel attracted by the chemicals coming from decadent meat. They are also called “sea fleas”, and don’t cause lasting damage.

“It’s possible [Sam] disturbed a feeding group, but they are generally not out there waiting to attack like piranhas,” the researcher told ABC. “The crustaceans would have swarmed off that piece of dead fish and onto his leg. He may have already had a cut, perhaps, and they were able to smell that wound or any chemicals that the wound was giving off.”

Amphipods are “naturally-occurring scavengers” known to bite. It is also possible they contained some anti-coagulant that affected the bleeding, making it really hard to stop. Walker-Smith argued it was the cold water that made Kanizay not feel anything.

The creatures have no toxic properties, so the damage will not last. She thinks Sam was just unlucky.

Now, Sam’s recovering. His father’s hopping he can go home without any scars, the important thing is his full recovery. He’s normally pretty calm and collected, according to his dad. Although the “bizarre thing” that happened to them, they are not scared at all of going back to the sea and feeling safe in the water. In fact, they feel pretty “comfortable” with it.

Source: The Washington Post