TWENTY-SEVEN pairs of severed human hands have been found mysteriously washed up on an ice-covered island in Russia.
The shocking discovery was made close to the city of Khabarovsk in the Far East of Siberia, close to the border with China.
All but one of the 54 hands were in a bag.
Another -- spotted first by a local -- was lying separately on a snow-covered island in the Amur River around 18 miles downstream from the Russian frontier with China.
The sinister finds were laid out in the snow for a police picture.
They were located at a popular fishing spot, but locals said they had seen nothing suspicious.
The Siberian Times said it was a “mystery over who the sinister hands belonged to, when they were chopped off -- and why”.
Fingerprints were found on one hand, and the others are being checked. One gruesome theory is that the hands could have been axed off as a punishment for theft. Another is that the hands were severed from dead bodies in a hospital -- but it is unclear why this would happen.
One fear is that the corpses were illegally used for stealing body parts and the hands were cut to prevent them being identified afterwards through fingerprints. Local media reported that next to the remains were found medi cal bandages and hospital-style plastic shoe covers. A local source said: “It is a sickening sight.” Police have refused to comment on the case.