In the past 15 years, 21 sneakers with human feet inside of them, have washed ashore on the coast of the Salish Sea in Washington and British Columbia. Yes, severed human feet inside of sneakers, are washing ashore. Needless to say, this has raised an enormous amount of questions over the years. Serial killers, the mob, an elaborate hoax, many theories have been tossed around.

According to a report from Audacy, the explanation isn’t so sinister. Dr. Karan Raj points quite a simple explanation. When a body sinks to the bottom of the sea, sea-dwelling scavengers descend upon the body rather quickly. Sea-dwelling bottom feeders like crabs, lobsters, and shrimp are lazy and attack the softest areas of the body. The tissue and ligaments near the ankle are an easy region to attack, thus severing the foot off surprisingly easily.

The report states that sneaker construction has changed in the past few decades. Sneakers are generally more buoyant than they used to be. Once the foot is severed, the shoes will help the severed foot float and eventually drift ashore.

What about the owners of the severed feet? Authorities have been able to match some of the feet to their owners. Most times, they have been able to point to suicide or a simple accident at sea as the cause of death. It is unlikely that these bodies are the result of murder.

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