Hurricane Sandy has done more than just flood the subways and release thousands of rats into New York City; she’s also revealed the remains of the deceased. Human remains can be stumbled upon in a variety of contexts, often due to the fact that humans have a surprisingly short memory retention for where the dead are being buried. We find the bones of Roman soldiers in backyards and there have been a number of bodies being dragged up in the peat bogs in Ireland. Modern humans have been around for over 200,000 years- its not surprising that we run into their remains in strange places. It’s actually kind of surprising that we don’t find more bodies than we do. Here are some of the top odd places that human remains have been found.
1. Uprooted Ancestors: When Sandy came through Connecticut she knocked over hundreds of trees, one of which had become a burial location. The tree in question was over 100 years old, and sadly was uprooted during the storm. Twisted in the roots of the tree were a number of human remains, belonging to at least one individual, possibly more. Further investigation into the New Haven green space where the tree was located revealed that it had been a burial site from 1799 and 1821 for Yellow Fever victims. Headstones for the deceased below were moved to a local cemetery in 1821, but the bodies of possibly thousands of residents still remains buried there (Story from Reuters).
2. Shark Attack: Just like the movie Jaws, human remains have been recovered from the stomachs of the sharks numerous times. In fact, in 2010, a man disappeared off the beach that became famous for the 1975 Jaws: The Revenge. Later that week, his remains were found inside a tiger shark. Of course, it is unlikely that the shark was the cause of death as this particular species is a scavenger More possibly, the individual drowned while swimming and after death was consumed by the shark. The shark was captured on a fishing trip, and prior to release regurgitated a human foot onto the deck. The fishermen kept the shark to bring to the police. Full analysis revealed the missing man (Story from Discovery). Other animal stomachs found with human remains include crocodiles and snakes!
3. Storage Surprise: With the popularity of shows like Storage Wars, there are hundreds of new units being bought up around the USA. When a unit is bid on, the buyer doesn’t actually know the contents. They are able to decide whether to buy it based on a single external view. This meant a big surprise for a buyer who purchased the storage unit of a medical examiner. Human remains were found preserved in formaldehyde in various types of food containers, including fast food cups. The medical examiner was charged with improper disposal of remains, and received 60 days in jail and a $10,000 fine. Luckily for everyone, he had been fired from his medical examiner job a long time before this find (Story from Medical Daily).
4. Packaged People: A mailman in Pennsylvania found a strange package at the bottom of a mailbox on his route. At first, the plastic box without any address or stamps was thought to be a bomb and authorities were brought in to investigate. After bomb sniffing dogs cleared the box they found that it had a disturbing label on the metal box within the packaging that had an individuals name with the years 1957-2000. Within the bos were the cremated ashes of the deceased. People do a lot of strange things with ashes, but this is definitely one of the oddest (Story from WayOdd).
5. Fast and Freaky Food: These cases aren’t really human remains, but the are parts of humans. There have been a number of reports of human body parts found in fast food. Most recently, an employee at Arby’s lost her finger in a meat slicing accident and the finger ended up in a kid’s sandwich. Other cases include human skin found on a chicken sandwich and blood found on french fries. An even odder case was a woman who planted a severed finger in her Wendy’s chili in an attempt to create a lawsuit. It later came out that she had gotten the finger from her husband’s co-worker who lost it in a work related accident (Story from Yahoo News).