The Seattle Weekly News reported that nine human feet, all still wearing shoes, washed up on the shores of British Columbia over the last five years.
It baffled police.
The phenomenon was so strange, many believed these deaths had to be connected by a single cause. There were many theories:
- There had been a recent nearby plane crash, could these feet belong to victims?
- What if the feet belonged to illegal immigrants murdered by their smugglers?
- And maybe the most dreadful possibility, was this the work of a serial killer who dismembered feet as a perverse calling card?
But none of these were true at all. After a thorough investigation it was just recently found that all individuals had died, either by committing suicide in the river, or by falling into the water accidentally.
But why the feet?
It turns out the modern sneaker is so well constructed, that it protects the foot from the deterioration that happens to the rest of the body.
Now is a good time to remember that the human brain is a pattern seeking machine. It loves connecting the dots, even when they ought not be connected.
Hats off to the Coroner’s office of British Columbia for their great investigative work, and for teaching us a valuable lesson:
When a problem perplexes us (and even when it doesn’t), ruthlessly challenge the underlying assumptions.