Sea flea attack leaves Australian teenager hospitalised


An Australian teenager is recovering in hospital after an attack by “mite-sized sea critters” left him pouring blood from multiple tiny wounds on his legs.

Sam Kanizay, 16, had been dangling his legs in the water at Melbourne’s Brighton Beach on Saturday evening when dozens on tiny scavenging marine animals feasted on his blood. He did not notice the bites as they occurred, but found his feet and ankles covered in blood when he stood up out of the water.

The teen’s parents took him to hospital when they could not stem the bleeding, but doctors were unable to confirm what had caused the pin-prick-sized bites.

To investigate further, the boy’s father, Jarrod Kanizay, returned to the spot his son was bitten and dangled some raw meat into the water to attract the critters. The effort proved fruitful, and he says examples of the sandy-coloured mites have been sent to various experts for analysis.

Marine biologist Dr Genefor Walker-Smith, who saw some of the samples, told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper that the bugs were probably lysianassid amphipods, also known as “sea fleas”, which are tiny shrimp-like scavenging marine animals and do not generally pose a threat to humans.

Sam Kanizay is expected to make a full recovery.



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