Australia, with its spiders, sharks and snakes, has never appealed to those of a nervous disposition.
And if you’re one such person then you might want to stop reading right now as news has broken that a tiny creature, more terrifying than any lethal arachnid or teeth baring mammal, has just been discovered in the most terrifying country in the world.
Sam Kanizay, 16-year-old teenager from Melbourne, this week emerged from the water at Dendy Street beach, with bloodied legs and feet after tiny sea bugs ‘ate through his skin’
The teen – who had entered the water to cool down after a football match – told 3AW Radio "I walked out and saw what I thought was sand covering my calf and shook it off, and by the time I'd walked across the sand …. I looked down and noticed I had blood all over my ankles.
"It took a while to get all the blood off and it came back pretty quickly… It sort of looked like hundreds of little pinholes or pin-sized bites distributed all over my ankle and the top of my foot.”
The teenager’s father returned to the beach to investigate further, filling a net with raw meat and captured, then filmed, the bugs which he believes were responsible.
Speaking to a national paper he said “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.
“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.”
Richard Reina, an expert on marine biology at Monash University, acknowledged that the creatures were probably sea lice, but stressed that attacks were “very rare” and that beachgoers should not be alarmed.
But the scientific community is split: Michael Brown, a marine expert, said he believed the creatures 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.
Alternatively, Jeff Weir, executive director of the Dolphin Research Institute, suggested it could be a type of amphipod, a tiny shrimp-like crustacean. He spoke to ABC News and recalled a personal experience:
"It was very cold, probably, about this time of year, and when I got out of the water I realised my forehead was bleeding and parts of my cheeks were bleeding.”
Either way, and regardless of what they are, the sea is now off-limits, forever and ever, amen.