A mysterious “ghost ship” filled with skeletons recently washed up on Japanese coast. Forensic scientists and detectives are now trying to unravel the mystery.
The seven-meter-long boat was found on the shores of Oga, Akita Prefecture, on Japan’s west coast. It contained decomposing bodies of eight people, an eight-digit number painted on the side of the vessel and a broken rotor blade. On the boat there were no signs of fishing equipment.
Identification of the bodies could be a great challenge, because they are partially skeletonized, making it more difficult to discern the age or sex of the crew. However, this condition suggested that the bodies are in the third of the five stages of decomposition, called active decay, which usually suggests that the body has been dead for a few weeks.
Normally it could take up to several month or even years for the body to completely skeletonize, however considering the conditions in this case, the normal “rules” don’t necessarily apply.
— 秋田のスパイディ (@Spaidy_Akita) November 26, 2017
While the story remains a mystery, there is a possibility that the ship was actually from North Korea as Oga, where the boat washed ashore, is directly eastward of the coast of North Korea. Also, there were no missing Japanese vessels. What makes this theory more possible is the pack of cigarettes found on the boat that is believed to have been produced in North Korea.
Just days before this happened, there were many similar cases, like when eight live North Korean sailors washed ashore in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Akita, or when two more bodies were found washed ashore on a beach just 70 kilometers southwards.
According to Japan Times, in 2014 an enormous number of around 65 “ghost ships” washed up on Japan’s coast, and in 2013 the number was even higher.
Many people believe that these ships are the result of people fleeing the notoriously repressive rule of Kim Jong-Un the North Korean leader. On the other hand, others suggest that the regime is pushing fishermen to produce greater amounts of food and forcing them to venture into more treacherous seas to help deal with the country’s chronic food shortages.