In a grisly variation on the cat and cattle mutilations that Dreamland science reporter Linda Howe has been telling us about, severed human feet still wearing running shoes have been floating to shore in British Columbia. Stranger still: they are always right feet and the shoes they are wearing are always size 12.

Three of these disembodied feet have landed on the coast of Gabriola Island in Canada’s B.C. province within the last 6 months. The first foot was found by a 12-year-old girl from Washington State. Despite DNA testing, the remains have not been identified or correlated with any missing persons reports.

In the Feb. 4 edition of the New York Times, William Yardley quotes oceanologist Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who has made a career of tracking the routes of floating objects spilled from cargo ships, as saying, "They might be aggregated somewhere else." He says that the opposite shapes of left and right shoes could make them respond differently to currents, but he is not surprised that the feet made it to shore, because "running shoes are quite buoyant. They would tend to encase a foot and keep it floating. A body comes apart naturally?the head usually comes off first. The parts of the body that are protected will last the longest. The shoe usually floats soles up, so that might prevent the seabirds from pecking at it."

Yardley quotes island resident Digby Jones as saying, "The whole thing is a scam, as far as I?m concerned, all part of a big joke. If they go to the mortuaries on the mainland, you’ll find some guy laughing his head off."

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