Stab Magazine | Suspected Sea Fleas In Melbourne Eat The Flesh Of Unsuspecting Teen

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Suspected Sea Fleas In Melbourne Eat The Flesh Of Unsuspecting Teen

The cutest danger in the shallows. 

news // Oct 25, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This story is strange and gruesome. Does the unknown trouble you? It should; it’s terrifying!

Over the weekend, 16-year old Sam Kanizay entered the water at Dendy Street Beach in Brighton; it was cold. “I didn’t feel anything untoward when I was in the water,” Sam told the Herald Sun. “I expected my legs to go numb.”

“I would have been in there for maybe 30 minutes and didn’t notice anything until I looked down to put my thongs on.” Sam looked down and his legs were covered in blood. “I was leaving little pools (of blood) everywhere.” He walked home and the bleeding wouldn’t stop. Sam was rushed to the hospital where he was met by baffled doctors, confused about the cause of the “pin-sized” holes covering his legs and feet.

Local swimmer Paul Ducket told Fairfax Media, “We swim there every day and we’re in the water from 15 to 30 minutes, and no one’s ever experienced anything like this.”


Just when you thought it was safe to wade in the water.

Sam has since received a biopsy and stitches. Medical experts have struggled to piece together the culprit of what Sam called a “freak accident.” Sea fleas or sea lice were thrown out as a hypothesis and has since been the scapegoat to Sam’s bloody pegs. But anyone who’s ever been a victim to sea fleas know they’re typically just annoying little buggers, that nestle into your skin, bite quick, send a minor zap and then itch for the next week – to come out resembling a narrow escape in a horror film is madness.

“This was a first,” continued Paul. “I query whether it’s sea lice of some other creature that caused this issue.”

But then, Associate Professor at Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences Richard Reina said Sam’s bites were caused by sea fleas. “I think it’s very rare,” Rich told with an eerie confidence. “When it happens (sea flea bites) you brush it off, or move or get out of the water and there’s no consequence, whereas in this case, Sam was standing in cold water for quite a long time.

“He probably thought the pins and needles he described was cold and didn’t realise there were crustaceans chewing on his feet.”

Well, go ahead and tack hungry sea fleas on the list of things living in Australia that want to kill you, right after spiders, sharks, snakes, giant centipedes, box jelly fish and Russell Crowe. 


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