14 feet have washed up on Canada’s shores: Oceanographer talks about the Nike phenomenon

Oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer

Forget Halloween; this story has been haunting Canadians for over a decade. The New York Times reported in May that human feet washed ashore of Gabriola Island. The fourteenth limb was found in May by a man walking along the beach. The previous 13 feet that have been found since 2007 were all attached to running shoes. Several theories have surfaced to explain this strange phenomenon. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer joins The Matt Bubala Show to explain. Ebbesmeyer has been researching the ocean’s vast unknown for 30 years.

Ebbesmeyer says this is no surprise. Some beaches are more common to have left shoes wash up on shores, and some are more likely to have right shoes. Ebbesmeyer says the ocean winds and currents have a deciding factor. “Pick up your shoes and put them in the bathtub.  Put a fan on them and turn them over. You’ll find the fan can’t blow in the same orientation on each shoe. So, the ocean’s winds line up starting out as the footwear drifts along and drifts it out as right or left. You can’t orient them to the wind in the same way.” This is where the Nike phenomenon falls into place. “Nike invented Air Jordan’s and invented a gas to put in the sole of the shoe to make it more springy,” Ebbesmeyer says.

In Kentucky, a “body farm” is located where research is done on how a body breaks down in natural elements. Ebbesmeyer says that 2400 people were officially listed as missing.

For more information on Curt’s work, his book is available online here.