WARNING: Graphic Images
Cooling down after a footy match, teenager Sam Kanizay was soaking in waist-deep water at a Melbourne beach on Saturday evening when he began to feel what he thought were pins and needles in his legs.
However, when the 16-year-old emerged from his 30-minute soak at Brighton's Dendy Street Beach and caught a glimpse of his blood-covered legs under a street light, he realised something a bit more sinister had happened.
With his legs still numb, a shocked Kanizay left a trail of blood along the esplanade as he made his way home, but it wasn't until he hopped in the shower to wash away the blood that he and his family realised something wasn't quite right.
"It took a while to get all the blood off and it came back pretty quickly," he told 3AW.
"[There were] hundreds of little pin-sized bites distributed all over my ankle and the top of my foot."
Unable to stop the bleeding, Kanizay was taken to the nearby emergency department of Sandringham Hospital before being taken to Dandenong Hospital where his legs continued to seep blood on Sunday afternoon, baffling doctors.
On Monday morning, the 16-year-old told 3AW that he was still in hospital, and while there have been suggestions that sea lice might be to blame for the bloodied legs, the exact cause of the bleeding remains unknown.
"We called experts and other hospitals across Melbourne, but there was no real evidence of what it was," Kanizay said.
Kanizay's father, Jarrod, told Fairfax Media that his son's mysterious condition had everyone in the hospital's emergency room "just fascinated, they were all on Google afterwards, hypothesising as to what happened. They pretty much had 10 different hypotheses but nothing yet".
In August 2015, a father and son swimming at nearby Sandringham beach -- who were also cooling off after a footy match -- were repeatedly bitten on their feet by what they assumed were sea lice.
In similar circumstances, the pair said they didn't feel any initial pain but realised they were bleeding after they emerged from the water.
Attempting to seek answers, Kanizay's father collected water from the beach where his son was bitten and poured it over several pieces of raw meat.
A spine-tingling video of the experiment shows sea lice devouring the meat.