Fake Foot

I'm still catching up on all the recent hoaxes... So here's another one that a lot of people have emailed me about. The fake foot that washed up on a beach in British Columbia.

Five human feet have washed up on beaches in British Columbia during the past year, generating a lot of media interest. After all, who do these feet belong to? It's a mystery. But a sixth foot that washed up turned out to be a hoax. From ctv.ca:

A sixth foot believed to have washed ashore on Vancouver Island was not human, although it was found inside a sock and running shoe, according to the B.C. Coroners Service. "A forensic pathologist and an anthropologist have examined the shoe and remains, and determined a skeletonised animal paw was inserted into the shoe with a sock and packed with dried seaweed," BCCS said in a statement Thursday. The foot had been found inside a size-10 black Adidas shoe.

I've posted about similar hoaxes. For instance, back in 2003 I wrote about police in Crawford County launching an investigation after finding leg bones sticking out of boots found beside a lake in Arkansas. The bones turned out to belong to an animal.

New Scientist has an interesting take on the recent case. (You may only be able to read their full article if you're a subscriber.) They discuss the field of ocean forensics, which apparently is quite undeveloped. When bodies wash up from the ocean, it's usually very difficult for forensic scientists to figure out what happened to the person because there's not a good understanding of what happens to corpses floating in the ocean.

Researcher Gail Anderson is trying to change this. She's chained the carcass of a 25-kilogram pig to the ocean floor and has been recording the exact stages of its decomposition, carefully noting the crabs, lobsters, and fish that feed on it. She's already discovered that fish tend to feed on the face last. So if a body washes up with damage to the face, but not to the rest of the body, foul play is likely. I'm going to add this to my growing list of great trivia to bring up at cocktail parties.


Posted on Tue Jun 24, 2008


I once came upon a rubber glove being washed about in the surf near Rehobeth Beach, Del. Hanging out of said glove was what appeared (at first glance) to be tendons and rotted flesh, but it only turned out to be the shredded cotton inner glove liner... scared the beejeezus out of me till I figured it out... brrrr
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Jun 24, 2008  at  10:26 AM
Heh. When I was a teen, my younger brother and I went to visit my older brother at his decrepit old farmhouse on a Welsh mountainside. He suggested we explore the area, and we found a car half-submerged in a bog... with a vile smell of rotting flesh and what appeared at first glance to be the half-eaten decomposing corpse of the driver in the front seat.

Turned out my brother had stuffed the almost-skeletonized torso of a dead sheep he'd found into an old jacket and stuck it in the front seat for us to find. How we laughed.
Posted by outeast  on  Wed Jun 25, 2008  at  01:49 AM
how did you find that?
Posted by Gladys Calladine  on  Fri Jul 03, 2009  at  12:58 AM
Every time I read the hoax here,I can find that humanbeing is sentimental and not wise.
Posted by Cindy Davison  on  Thu Jul 09, 2009  at  07:40 PM
Recently I have watched a video about a humanlike animal in America.It is said that she has strange power to imitate everything.
I do not know whether it is true or not.
Posted by Irene Savoia  on  Sun Jul 12, 2009  at  07:42 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.