A mother was reportedly horrified to discover a sea snail inside of a growth she popped in her son’s leg.
Rachel Franklin, of Orange County, California, spotted the growth after noticing that her son’s leg had become significantly swollen, Daily Mail reported. The boy, 7-year-old Paul Franklin, had previously been taken to the doctor and diagnosed with a staph infection.
Despite being instructed not to pop the growth, Rachel decided to do just that after it turned black and began oozing pus.
Rachel shared the story of what she found inside the growth on Animal Planet's "Monster Inside Me," which is set to air on the Discovery Channel on Nov. 4.
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“I’m peering at this object and it has a strange look about it,” she said during the Animal Planet episode, according to Daily Mail.
“I [realized] it wasn't a rock," she added. "It has whirls on it. I turn it over and I think - I might have laughed out loud. I said, ‘Paul. This is a snail. It’s a freaking snail.’”
The snail — determined to be a type of sea snail that can adapt to a range of temperatures and waters — was reportedly growing in the tissue above Paul’s knee.
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“It lives in the harshest intertidal zones and can survive for weeks in a wide variety of temperatures and salt levels,” biologist Dan Riskin said of the snail, which is called a littorina scutulata.
“The subcutaneous tissue of the human body mirrors the harsh conditions where sea snails normally survive," Riskin added.
Paul's father, Ken, said the snail most likely found its way onto his son's knee after Paul fell onto a snail's eggs at the beach.