I just returned from an epic adventure in Australia. I visited many marine research stations, and of course did some diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, one of the young scientists I was travelling with had a bit of a nasty encounter with some shallow hard coral and ended up with a rather large gash on his hand. The staff at the research station where we were staying were very meticulous about the cleaning of the wound, keeping fresh iodine on it every hour or so for the next 24 hours. I couldn't help but think to myself...isn't this a little excessive?

"Tropical waters are FULL of marine phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses" they said, "best to be safe than sorry."

I guess they were right. A story reported today on CBS news details how a young boy became a living incubator for a marine snail. Likely a veliger larva or a newly settled juvenile when the boy cut himself in shallow water, it seemed to fare just fine in the moist, salty human environment.