Tiny creatures allegedly began to eat the feet and legs of Australian 16-year-old Sam Kanizay, leaving him in pools of blood.
Tiny creatures began eating Australian teen Sam Kanizay alive during his recent visit to a Melbourne beach. These tiny creatures left the 16-year-old bleeding profusely. So bad were the injuries to his legs and feet that he spent three days in a Melbourne Hospital. While experts deem Kanizay’s experience as rare, it has left local beach goers wary of entering the water.
Wary locals include famous Aussie footy player, Koby Steven, who plays with St. Kilda’s Saints. Stevens described at a press conference on the 7th of August how he and fellow team mates narrowly escaped the same fate.
Marine biologist, Genefor Walker-Smith, of Museums Victoria suggested that the most likely culprit was a type of sea-flea. With the scientific name of Lysianassid Amphipod, this tiny creature is a common scavenger in oceans around the globe. These tiny creatures “clean” the seas by scavenging for dead and decaying sea-life. Walker-Smith explained to ABC News: “If we did not have them, we would have a sea full of dead fish and dead birds.”
But why would these scavengers attack living flesh? Experts suggest that there are a number of factors as to why this unlikely attack occurred to Kanizay. Walker-Smith suggests that the extended length of time that the teen stood in the cold waters gave the tiny creatures an opportunity to feast on his feet and legs.
Kanizay had stood in the cool waters of Brighton’s Dendy Street Beach after a day of playing footy, and he wished to use the cold water to bring relief to his weary feet and legs. Allegedly, Kanizay spent around 30 minutes standing in water up to his mid-calves, without moving.
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In the wrong place at the wrong time
Additionally, Walker-Smith suggests that the cold winter waters in the southern hemisphere right now could have numbed Kanizay’s skin sufficiently enough to enable him to remain oblivious to the tiny sea creatures attacks.
Also, the sheer quantity of these tiny creatures that had accumulated to create such horrific damage was likely due to, as marine biologist Richard Reina pointed out, strong westerly winds. Normally, there is simply not that volume of sea-fleas in the water at any one time. In other words, Kanizay was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It wasn’t until Kanizay left the water and began attempting to put his shoes on that he noticed he was bleeding profusely. When he attempted to wash off the blood, he noticed what he described as “hundreds of little pinholes.” What was most distressing for the teen, was that the blood would not stop flowing. It was for this reason that his parents rushed him to hospital. Experts assume that similar to leeches, this species of sea-flea must contain an anticoagulant.
Could it have been something else?
Kanizay collected a sample of the tiny creatures in the sea that he believed had begun to eat him alive – literally. Yet despite the speculation that this was indeed the culprit, many people wonder if the actual culprit was something else. Marine expert, Michael Brown, suggests that the true source of Kanizay’s frightening injuries was likely jellyfish larvae. In an interview with Channel Seven, he doubted that sea-fleas could inflict such severe damage.
Other theories abound, including that of a local swimmer who claimed that a friend had developed similar injuries to Kanizay, during the Australian summertime, six months earlier. According to her, she believes that a stingray was the culprit of his injuries.
Nevertheless, the inability to stem the blood flow of Kanizay’s injuries was very mysterious indeed. This has left beach goers everywhere concerned that they may fall victim to a similar fate. Kanizay, however, is not letting the experience deter him from swimming in the sea again in the future.