Human foot washes up on Georgian Bay beach, becoming a cottage country mystery

running shoes on a beach [Credit: Pixabay/JuanBotello]

A plumber who was working at a cottage on the Georgian Bay was shocked to discover a shoe on the beach that contained a severed human foot.

John Mervyn was closing down a cottage for the season in Meaford, Ontario, when he came across the foot about a metre from the shore. “There was like a rock pile on the front of this cottage and it was right up in the rock pile,” he told the Owen Sound Times.

He first called his boss, and then the police, who showed up to take his statement and do a forensics analysis. Since then, police have confirmed only that the foot belonged to an adult. Mervyn told the Times that he believed the shoe was a size 11 or 12, and that the foot inside it seemed to be “fairly old,” based on his assessment of the level of decay.

The foot’s origin currently remains a mystery, and there have been no missing boaters or swimmers reported recently. Residents of Meaford have found themselves subject to an unusual amount of attention from neighbouring areas, but what they’re most concerned about is whether more body parts will appear on their beach.

“We’d just like to know why, when and how this happened,” resident Chris Emerson told CTV News. “Do we have to keep looking for more?”

This isn’t the first case of a disembodied human foot washing up on a beach. In British Columbia, over ten feet have been found since 2007. Some people believe that feet are more likely to be found than the rest of a human body because running shoes are buoyant, so they are more likely to wash to shore.

Mervyn had a similar theory about the foot he found. “I’m thinking that maybe, I don’t know how many years ago the body fell in the water, and just naturally from decomposition, the foot would have came apart and the shoe would have made it float,” he told the Owen Sound Times.

The Ontario Police have not yet indicated whether they suspect foul play.

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