People love to think of Australia as a country full of things that want to kill you – and for good reason, too.
From massive tiger sharks and saltwater crocodiles to smaller eastern brown snakes, there are plenty of deadly critters down under.
Heck, even the jellyfish are lethal!
That’s why the above headline should come as no surprise – it’s not hard to believe that Aussie beaches are teaming with danger.
Unfortunately for 16-year-old Sam Kanizay, a post-soccer foot-soak in the ocean led to a very bloody end.
According to ABC, Kanizay noticed what he thought was sand on his calf shortly after getting out of the water. By the time he got to his flip-flops, however, something far more sinister became clear.
“By the time I’d walked across the sand about 20 meters to put my thongs on, I looked down and noticed I had blood all over my ankles,” he told the agency.
With his father, Jarrod, unable to stem the bleeding, Sam was rushed to the hospital, where bewildered doctors have still struggled to come up with an explanation.
Internet commentators have suggested that the flesh-eating culprits are sea lice, marine isopods that do sometimes nibble on toes.
In search of answers, Jarrod Kanizay went back to the beach with a pool net and a few chunks of meat to catch the villains red-mouthed. He’s since posted a video showing dozens of tiny bugs chowing down on the flesh.
Speaking to the New York Times, however, Professor Aistair Poore of the University of New South Wales says that these goggas are in fact amphipods, creatures not known for biting people.
“You can attract a lot of animals in the sea with raw meat,” Dr. Poore told the Times. “Even though it’s interesting, it doesn’t prove to me they were the ones that bit his legs.”
As he sees it, the mystery of Sam’s tiny attackers remains unsolved – neither isopods not amphipods are to blame. The real flesh-eaters are still at large, lurking along the Aussie coast.