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Thread: Australian crustaceans that eat your skin

  1. #1

    Australian crustaceans that eat your skin

    A guy went in the water in the evening at Brighton Beach near Melbourne, and came out of the water with a bunch of small amphipods swarming his ankles. They started biting through his skin until he was bleeding heavily:

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    Marine biologist Jeff Weir said he and others have been bitten by these creatures, but attacks are rare because people have to remain stationary for a time before they attack.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-0...enager/8780138

    If any of you mers swim in the waters of Australia's southern coast, keep moving!

  2. #2
    Just another nope to add to Australia's list. Fascinating though.

  3. #3
    The video makes my skin crawl.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Another reason why I don't do a lot ocean swimming. As long as where I want to swim has humans splashing around, I'm ok with. But by myself and knowing this now, NOPE!
    Formerly known as ireneho

  5. #5
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Is this a newer phenomenon or just rare?
    There are crustaceans almost everywhere, not just in Australia

    It could have to do with pollution or overfishing.
    You'll get the strangest things in a sea that is beyond repair through human influence.

    Like the Baltic- flesh eating bacteria are very common there.
    When I went there swimming many years ago, when I still didn't know about the problem, the entire waterfront was filled with millions of bloodsucking leeches. There was a lot of screaming and thrashing going on with the bathers.

    And then there are the seas that are so polluted there are no living things left.
    Like, the black sea, which is exposed to the unfiltered garbage of 12 countries.
    If you try to fish there, you will most likely get a refrigerator or plastic trash on your hook, but nothing alive.
    The only creatures that thrive in those waters are dysentery bacteria.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Another reason why I don't do a lot ocean swimming. As long as where I want to swim has humans splashing around, I'm ok with. But by myself and knowing this now, NOPE!
    Well, I wouldn't get too paranoid MJ!

    Like the marine biologist said, they take a while to get to you and decide to bite, so if you're moving & splashing around you should be OK.

    At least they can't bite you through your tail.

    Another thing you could consider for swimming is to wear one of those whole-body "stinger suits" like the Queenslanders wear to fend off the box jellies.

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Echidna View Post
    Is this a newer phenomenon or just rare?
    There are crustaceans almost everywhere, not just in Australia
    Hi Echidna,

    LOL, one of my Australian friends put it succinctly. "Australia is a land where lots of animals want to bite you, or sting you."

    I'm pretty sure those isopods must have always been around. According to the marine biologist, divers have known about them for years.

    It's just that there are biting and stinging beasties in the waters around Australia just as much as there are on land, I suppose (crocs, box jellies, sea snakes, irukandjis, and now, ravenous isopods)

    We even have little guys that bite you here in Canada. It's a kind of cercarium that usually likes to attack ducks, but it will bite humans. It's so small though, that it can't bite through your skin and make you bleed, but it makes you itchy (swimmer's itch)

    It just seems like Australia has fiercer animals, and you have to do more to stay safe.
    Last edited by AptaMer; 08-12-2017 at 07:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    the video is so NUTS! I've actually been bitten before by sand fleas but this is crazy

  9. #9
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Hey Apta,
    sorry for the late reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by AptaMer View Post
    We even have little guys that bite you here in Canada. It's a kind of cercarium that usually likes to attack ducks, but it will bite humans.
    yep, cercariae are a problem worldwide, but colder countries are "lucky" insofar as humans are the wrong host for them, whereas in tropical areas, the larvae are very happy to encounter you.

    Schistosomiasis was a big problem in all warmer countries where I lived.
    Heck, I still wonder how I survived all those years there!

    "funnily" enough, I caught some potentially deadly diseases in the north anyway.
    So not only it's cold as f here, it's also dangerous.
    Maybe I should just return to the tropics, at least it's beautiful there

  10. #10
    Heh takes me back to studying parasitology at uni. also i LOVE the full body swim suit is CORAL SNAKE colours. XD

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