There’s something fishy afoot…

Following on from the tale of British Columbia’s very own iceman, here’s another local story about the mysterious discovery of human remains and the use of genetic fingerprinting to establish kinship.

But unlike Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi, whose story reads like a Discovery Channel documentary, the current events have the feel of a particularly spooky episode of the X-Files1.
A right foot, wearing a sock and running shoe, washed up on a local beach this week. A minor mystery, you might think. But this is the fourth one this year.
Four right feet. All wearing a sock and running shoe. All found along a relatively short stretch of BC coastline.
Saturday’s coverage in the Vancouver Sun reported that decomposing bodies break into 10 separate parts in the ocean – head, torso, two arms, two legs, two hands, and two feet. If the feet, protected by the shoes (which float, incidentally), are the only parts to survive, then the odds of only the right feet being discovered is 1 in 16. Well within the bounds of possibility.
But still creepy.
Police are checking the DNA obtained from the feet against local missing persons files, as well as from victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami. I’ll keep you posted… please insert dodgy foot-related puns in the comments section.
In other BC news, our drinking water still isn’t flammable.

1 A Vancouver episode of course. None of that sunny Hollywood crap.

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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9 Responses to There’s something fishy afoot…

  1. Kyrsten Jensen says:

    that last foot was found only a few km from our house! The Fraser River is running so fast right now off our balcony that even tugboats can’t pull the loads upriver much anymore. We’ve seen entire hillsides float past (well, a hillside’s worth of trees) – so I’m not surprised there’s a body or two floating as well!

  2. Bob O'Hara says:

    You’re disappointed by the lack of flammability, I can tell. I know I would be.

  3. Heather Etchevers says:

    Creepy indeed. I’d say that if each had a sock and running shoe (not to mention lack of propinquity) that argues against these feet coming from tsunami victims. Plus I’d expect there to have been some more decomposition since 2004, no?…
    And here I thought we were getting a lot of rain.

  4. Henry Gee says:

    The first thing people need to do is not panic. Then, they need to walk around their neighborhoods on the alert for any one-legged joggers.

  5. Raf Aerts says:

    So all what’s left was right, right?

  6. Cath Ennis says:

    I knew you guys wouldn’t disappoint!
    Kyrsten, come to think of it, I haven’t seen DMac in ages. Better clear your apartment of all evidence, I’m calling the Mounties in!
    Bob, non-flammable tap water is indeed extremely boring.
    Heather, you’re probably right, although the tsunami was everyone’s first thought. Apparently there are currents that might explain the location. And we’re suffering more from rapid snow melt than from rain, although the latter is in plentiful supply as always!
    Henry, we are definitely all alert and on our toes. That’s the sole reason for the lack of panic.
    Raf, that’s right, right, right, and right again.

  7. Kyrsten Jensen says:

    @Cath: DMac’s brother was a Mountie, so really, I could always ask him if I ever needed handy info on how to hide a body. Goodness knows he’s already found a few as part of the Hazmat team.
    Though really, it is creepy to wonder where they’ll find the right feet. Perhaps there’s a sea lion or orca out there with strange tastes?

  8. Cath Ennis says:

    Mountie, eh? Single? Inquiring minds (in London) want to know…
    I love the idea of an orca with a one-sided foot fetish. Free Willy 2 – just when you thought it was safe to put your left foot back in the water…

  9. Kyrsten Jensen says:

    Well, here’s the really funny thing – he’s no longer a Mountie, as he’s gone back to firefighting. Yes, he was a Mountie AND a firefighter at the same time.
    Single? well, neither DMac nor I really know – he was engaged, now he’s not…things like that happen when you fulfill not one but two of most girl’s fantasies 🙂

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