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Tiny sea 'bugs' attack teen's feet

08 August 2017 07:32

The teenager had been on the beach at Melbourne

The teenager had been on the beach at Melbourne

Marine experts have disagreed over the identity of the creatures that attacked the feet of a teenager who was relaxing in the sea in Australia.

Sam Kanizay's feet and ankles bled from what looked like hundreds of little pin holes. The 16-year-old had only been in the water in Melbourne for around half an hour.

Visiting hospital with his parents, Sam's feet left doctors and nurses baffled.

Dad investigates

So Sam's father, Jarrod, took matters into his own hands, returning to the beach to investigate. He cast a net full of meat into the water to try to attract whatever may have attacked his son.

He pulled the net from the water to find dozens of tiny, bug-like creatures feasting on the meat. Don't go in the water without watersports travel insurance.

Experts disagree

After viewing the video shot by Jarrod, there is confusion among experts as to the identity of the bugs.

One expert believes they are a type of crustacean called amphipods, but another has questioned that.

Jeff Weir, executive director of the Dolphin Research Institute, thinks it may be down to amphipods, which usually eat decomposing plant and animal scraps.

However, 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.