Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Dark Side of Drifters

Last week's tale of ocean drifters has an ominous side. In the past decade 14-18 feet (depending on the source) have washed up on beaches in British Columbia. Here's a detailed map with descriptions of the first 12 feet - via Global News
While this sounds like some sick amputation ritual and has inspired some dark literature, scientists say that it is natural for feet to separate from the body and that these deaths were not from foul play. The deaths are considered drownings or suicide. Most of these feet were wearing sneakers (or running shoes or athletic shoes or trainers, depending on the article and your regional term.) These shoes may have helped preserve the feet while other parts of the body have decomposed or possibly been eaten.

While there are probably bodies floating around most coastal areas, the unique geography and currents of the Salish Sea (including BC's Strait of Georgia and Washington's Puget Sound) have made these feet more likely to end up on the shore. Here's a map from the Sun (UK edition) showing the entire region.
There's also a Wikipedia page about this phenomenon with its own (less dramatic) map.

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