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Human feet wash up on shore in Western Canada

Lexi Sterling, Reporter

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The 14th human foot to have been found in the past decade washed up on shore on a British Columbia beach last Sunday. A man who was walking on the beach came upon the dismembered foot, which was found in a hiking boot. The 14 feet washed up between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland.

Of the 14 people, nine have been identified. All of those who have been identified died naturally or from suicide. Their body then decomposed and separated. Decomposition occurs quicker at sea than it does on land. These feet have been oddly common since 2007 and have fascinated many Canadians and Americans. The British Columbia Coroners Service provided a map of all the feet that have been found in the past decade.

But the mystery of the feet has gone unsolved. Radio Canada states that the police think the feet could be from suicides or accidental drowning. Many people have come up with their own theories, with the causes ranging from natural disasters to serial killers. The Star reports about some of the theories, one stating that the cause of these feet is a plane crash from 2005. The plane had five men on board and only one body has been found. Some have expressed the belief that this is organized crime and that the sea is being used to dump bodies. Others believe a serial killer is at work.

Many of the feet that have washed ashore still had their shoes on, which gave their foot protection from decomposition and caused the foot to float. The Guardian reported that of the feet that have been identified, they are sure decomposition was the cause of it.

“The forensic anthropologists can be really sure of that because they can tell looking at the ends of the bones whether disarticulated naturally or whether there’s any sign that any mechanical force has been applied to them, whether there’s any trauma, whether there’s any tool marks on them,” Dr. Barb McLintock, who works at the coroner’s office said in an interview with The Guardian. “And none of them have had anything like that. All the evidence is pointed to just this natural articulation process.”

When bodies start to decompose, hands and feet often separate from the body first because the ligaments connecting those limbs to the body are weak. In the case that the foot is in a shoe, the foot can stay completely intact as the shoe protects the foot from fish feeding on it and the ocean environment.

Many people wonder why feet have just started appearing on shores in the past decade. A reason could be that many shoe companies have recently started designing shoes with air pockets in them. This, of course, makes the shoe lighter and more likely to float.

The mystery of the dismembered feet continues while The British Columbia Coroners Service try to identify the most recent foot.

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About the Writer
Lexi Sterling, Reporter
While aspiring to be a political journalist, I proudly report for the FHS Register for experience and opportunity. I am a sophomore and I am also on Student Council and the Varsity Dance team.
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Human feet wash up on shore in Western Canada