A bag containing 27 pairs of severed human hands has washed up on the coast between Russia and China. The shocking discovery was made close to the city of Khabarovsk in the Far East of Siberia when the bag washed up at a popular fishing spot. 53 of the 54 were found inside the bag but the last hand was found lying separately on an island in the Amur River around 18 miles downstream. The hands were particularly well preserved and you can see from the images that temperatures were low in the area, as police have laid the hands out in the snow for the photo. Locals have spoken to the media to say that they had noticed nothing suspicious, and the discovery was completely out of the blue.
The Siberian Times has reported on the hands, and they're investigating the mystery in a series of articles themselves. The headline of ‘mystery over who the sinister hands belonged to, when they were chopped off – and why’ explains that fingerprints were found on only one of the tens of hands but the others are still being checked for evidence or any helpful signs. Speculation is mounting that the hands could have been axed off as a punishment for theft or severed from dead bodies in a hospital, but it is unclear why the hands would be removed from bodies post-mortem. The most worrying theory so far suggests that the corpses had been illegally harvested for their organs and body parts, and the hands were removed to stop the bodies from being identified.
Local media are also reporting that medical bandages and hospital-style plastic shoe covers were found next to the remains, possibly pointing towards the black market sale of organs as the explanation. Police are refusing to comment on the case, but a local resident has described the find as: "A sickening sight."