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Sunday 22 October 2017

'I've never seen anything like it' - sea bugs feast on teen's legs

Sam Kanizay, 16, speaks from a bed of a hospital
Sam Kanizay, 16, speaks from a bed of a hospital
Sam Kanizay showing off the wounds to his legs
Sam Kanizay holding a jar with creatures in it. Photo: AP

Marine experts have been left stumped after a teenager who went for a swim at a Melbourne beach emerged with his feet covered in blood.

Sam Kanizay's legs felt sore after playing a game of football on Saturday, so he decided to soak them at the beach.

About 30 minutes later, the 16-year-old walked out of the water with his feet and ankles covered in what looked like hundreds of pin holes that were bleeding profusely.

Upon returning home, his parents took him to hospital.

Chomping

Kanizay's father, Jarrod, said hospital staff had no idea what kind of creature could have caused the injuries.

So Jarrod went back to the beach the following night with a pool net full of meat and captured the animals he believes could have been responsible.

He took a video of dozens of the tiny bug-like creatures chomping on the chunks of meat.

"What is really clear is these little things love meat," he said.

Jeff Weir, executive director of the Dolphin Research Institute, believes the teen may have been attacked by crustaceans called amphipods, which usually eat decomposing plant and animal scraps.

But Thomas Cribb, a parasite expert from the University of Queensland, said it would be very unusual for amphipods to cause such extensive bleeding.

"It's not a parasite I've ever come across," he said.

Meanwhile, marine expert Michael Brown believes the small bugs eating the meat in the video could be jellyfish larvae.

"I've never seen anything like this," he told Channel Seven's Sunrise program.

Sam was still hospitalised yesterday, but had been taken off antibiotics.

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