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Human foot in shoe under investigation after surfacing on New Zealand beach

By Ratziel San Juan Published Apr 11, 2023 11:50 am

New Zealand police are investigating a shoe containing a foot that washed up on Petone Beach in the Wellington region.

“Police completed a land and water search around the area the shoe was located. Nothing further was located," detective senior sergeant Steve Williamson told local media.

The police official said formal identification of the foot will take place, as the authorities will provide more details once available.

Additionally, the incident is reportedly "not being treated as a homicide."

New Zealand public broadcaster RNZ has since reported the public's negative reaction to the matter. "We bring our kids down here," one beachgoer was quoted as saying.

"Petone Beach is groomed over the summer period and is safe for swimming in most places," the Hutt City Council website reads.

The local government advises constituents through its website to watch their children since there is no patrol in place at Petone Beach.

Aside from New Zealand, the phenomenon of feet inside shoes turning up on beaches has been observed as well in Canada and the United States.

UK National Health Service surgeon Karan Raj explained the unusual trend in a viral TikTok video in 2021.

"When a human corpse falls to the ocean floor, it’s quickly set upon by scavengers... These scavengers are lazy feeders and prefer to tackle the softer parts of the body than the tough, grisly bits," Raj said.

Aside from feet detaching from bodies due to sea creatures feeding on tissues and ligaments around a corpse's ankle, sneakers are increasingly being designed to be more buoyant.

“Over the last few decades, shoes have become more buoyant. As a result, we could be seeing more severed feet wash up on our shores,” he added," the medical practitioner concluded.