Sea fleas: the creatures behind Melbourne teenager Sam Kanizay's horrific leg injuries

Teenager Sam Kanizay's bloody legs after possibly being bitten by something while bathing at Brighton

"What is really clear is these little things really love meat", he quipped as the animals devoted their attentions to the steak.

There are still a few soft spots on Sam Kanizay's legs where sea lice ripped into his flesh but the Melbourne teenager is nearly ready to leave hospital.

Dr Walker-Smith told Fairfax he believed the bleeding wouldn't stop because of the anti-coagulant being released by the fleas to stop the blood from clotting, in the same way leeches behave.

"They are in the sand or sea bed during the day and come out at night", Horsfall said. So they went to the hospital, where doctors were stumped as to what caused the hundreds of tiny pricks covering his feet and calves.

Kanizay was still hospitalized on Monday, but had been taken off antibiotics.

At first he felt a numbness, but he thought it was due to cold water.

While the victim is expected to fully recover, his excess bleeding remained a mystery. However, they do not usually cause these kind of injuries, the post said.

"My dad sort of just gave me this amusing stare, and I gave him a stare because we both just had no idea what was going on", he said.

"You can attract a lot of animals in the sea with raw meat". She said amphipod bites were common and "normally you would feel them or brush them off". When hosing their feet off, they noticed "tadpole-like creatures", a physical trait more consistent with sea lice.

"He (Kanizay) must have been very, very cold and he wouldn't have felt it", added Weir, who experienced a similar injury on his forehead after a night dive 40 years ago. They took their son to the local hospital, were doctors tried to stem the blood flow.

Mr Kanizay said his son's injury "fascinated" all of the staff working in the emergency room at Sandringham Hospital.

"We're keen for him to get back to school and normal life as soon as possible but the nurses might have something to say about that".

A spokesperson from Australia's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said sea fleas were a healthy part of the ecosystem but can be avoided by wearing a wetsuit, protective footwear, or not standing still for too long.

He described the weird creatures as "scavengers who'll clean up dead fish and feed on living tissue", typically less than a centimeter in length and thus likely to produce pinprick-size marks on skin.

"The situation is really unusual and I don't think it's something people should be concerned about".



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