The father of a Melbourne teenager who was ‘eaten’ by sea creatures while he took a swim has solved the mystery that has puzzled medical experts.
Sam Kanizay, 16, pulled up sore after playing football on Saturday and decided to soak his legs at Dendy Street Beach in Brighton. Minutes later, he came out covered in blood.
Doctors struggled to explain the teenager’s mysterious injuries, so his father Jarrod decided to investigate all by himself.
Armed with a fishing net and a slab of fresh meat the following night, he headed back the beach and captured hundreds of the creatures he believes were responsible.
‘I caught some bugs overnight over in the bay. I’ve put meat into a net and they’ve grabbed on to that like no tomorrow,’ Mr Kanizay told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We’ve brought them home and they’ve just attached themselves to this meat. They’ve sucked the life out of it – all the blood.
‘They’re mite type creatures. One would assume these are the bugs that have grabbed on to him in their thousands.’
Mr Kanizay said the bugs have been taken to hospital and tests will be conducted to determine the species.
‘What is really clear is these little things really love meat,’ he said of a video, which shows the creatures in a tray of water devouring chunks of meat.
Marine expert Michael Brown was puzzled by the bugs and suggested they could be ‘jellyfish larvae’.
‘I’ve been doing this for coming on 20 years now and I’ve never seen anything like this,’ he told Channel Seven’s Sunrise program.
The teenager said he felt scratchy in his legs when he was in the water, but assumed it was because he was sore from playing football earlier that day.
‘My first instinct was that I must have stepped on a rock,’ he told Fairfax Media.
‘But I realised that couldn’t have been it, because it was evenly distributed over my whole ankle and foot.’
Mr Kanizay couldn’t stop his son’s legs bleeding and they went to hospital, where staff couldn’t explain what had happened.
‘As soon as we wiped them (his legs) down, they kept bleeding,’ he said.
‘There was a massive pool of blood on the floor (at the hospital).
Sam said when the blood was washed off it was easier to see the hundreds of tiny holes in his legs.
‘It took a while to get all the blood off and it came back pretty quickly,’ he told 3AW on Monday.
‘It sort of looked like hundreds of little pin holes, or pin type bites, distributed all over my ankle and the top of my foot.’
One nurse advised the bites could be from sea lice, but it was no more than a ‘guess’.
Mr Kanizay said his son’s injury ‘fascinated’ all of the staff working in the emergency room at Sandringham Hospital.
‘They were all on Google afterwards, hypothesising as to what happened,’ he said.
‘They pretty much had 10 different hypotheses but nothing yet.’
Mr Kanizay said on Sunday night the bleeding had finally stopped, and he had high hopes for a quick and full recovery.
‘Sam is a stoic kid, so he will be fine,’ he said.
Sam told News Corp he would probably use the pool to ice his legs in the future, but it wouldn’t keep him away from the beach completely.
‘Plenty of people go for a swim in there so it’s probably just a one-off thing,’ he said.
The teenager spent his second night in hospital and Sunday and is expected to be released on Monday afternoon.