Sixteen-year-old Sam Kanizay had his legs bitten and bloodied by sea fleas while swimming in the ocean at Brighton Beach in Melbourne, Australia on Aug. 5 .
Sam recalled the incident to 3AW via ABC Australia:
I walked out and saw what I thought was sand covering my calf and shook it off, and by the time I’d walked across the sand about 20 metres to put my thongs on, I looked down and noticed I had blood all over my ankles. I couldn’t feel anything] because the cold water basically numbed my legs, I felt what I thought was pins and needles. It sort of looked like hundreds of little pinholes or pin-sized bites distributed all over my ankle and the top of my foot.
His dad Jarrod Kanizay told The Sydney Morning Herald that he returned to the Aug. 6 to film the sea fleas eating pieces of steak (video below):
We found thousands of little mite-type creatures in our net. We put them in an Esky and brought them home and looked at them intently and let them swim in white dishes with red meat. Interestingly, overnight they’ve essentially all clung to the meat and have been busy overnight eating it.
This was confirmed by Dr Chris Brown, an Australian veterinarian and TV host, on Facebook:
Well, assuming that Sam isn’t on high doses of aspirin (known to stop blood clots forming), the likely culprits are small parasites of fish and other marine creatures that release anti-coagulants when they feed on flesh. Sea fleas (amphipods) have been known to attack swimmers in large numbers and are the most likely culprit. It’s likely the cold waters of the bay only helped to numb their bites, meaning Sam never knew he was becoming a meal for some mini monsters.