Flesh-eating bugs eat people’s feet in California

© University of California San Diego / Wikimedia Commons

Flesh-eating insects eating human feet? In any case, this is what has been seen in California. Explanations.

These are swarms of microscopic marine insects with sharp teeth that have been seen. Indeed, while she was walking along a beach in De Anza Cove, San Diego, Tara Sauvage was bitten by these tiny creatures. “It was painful. I jumped out of the water and it was so shocking. I had blood all over my foot and between my toes”she explained. “It was as if little piranhas had bitten me. »

According to specialists, these insects are tiny isopods called Excirolana chiltoni. They live in the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean and seasonally migrate along the coast. “It’s an isopod, a relative of the roly-polys that live in the ocean and very shallow waters as far away as Alaska and Japan. They are totally notorious for biting people. They really drag in the water. They like to eat fresh meat”explained Ryan Hechinger, professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Rest assured: although painful and can cause bleeding, the bites of these insects with their sharp serrated mandibles, designed to cut the skin quickly and cleanly, are not very dangerous for humans. Tara Sauvage is an example of this: after washing her feet, she felt much better a few minutes later.

Isopods are actually a great help for the marine ecosystem. Indeed, by decomposing the flesh of dead animals, they “are part of the natural ecosystem. They eat dead fish so they don’t stink in the water”, detailed Ryan Hechinger. However, they can become a nuisance in areas where the decomposition of bodies is poor, i.e. too close to the coast.

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