Earlier this week, the Wyoming Police Department got a call nobody wants to get.
A resident had been doing some gardening in her back yard, and she’d found a severed toe.
“I think she was shocked,” Public Safety Director Paul Hoppe says.
They sent an officer over. Not a fun ride, Hoppe says, when you’re not sure what you’re going to encounter. It’s been a while since they’ve gotten any called about dismembered body parts, but 20 or so years ago, they wouldn’t be unheard of.
When the officer first got a load of this toe, he too was a little shocked. Then he picked it up, and that shock melted instantly into relief.
Damned thing was made of wood.
Resident was gardening when she dug up a shocking discovery. DNA revealed its from the Oak Family. pic.twitter.com/LFZA6uOoP1— Wyoming (MN) Police (@wyomingpd) September 2, 2020
One couldn’t blame the resident for being alarmed. The toe is astonishingly realistic, nail and all, and that russet potato complexion fairly well approximates what you might imagine a mummified digit to look like. Everyone was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t the real thing.
Hoppe says they have no idea where it came from – or whether it had once been attached to a larger, equally detailed wooden foot. The size and detail suggests it could have been a prosthetic of some kind – a similar apparatus nearly 3,000 years old was dug up in Egypt in 2017 -- though it could just as easily have been ornamental.
If you have more information about this artifact, Hoppe says you can give the Wyoming Police Department a call.