Social media posts showing a potentially grisly discovery on the island of Saaremaa proved to be a false alarm, regional daily Saarte Hääl reports. Images of what appeared to be a decomposing human hand in fact most likely depict a dead seal's paw, experts say.
The "hand", found in the village of Ruhve, on the island's southeast coast on Sunday, prompted plenty of reaction when its image was posted on social media, Saarte Hääl says (link in Estonian).
Opinions were divided as to the origins of the remains, with some commenting that they were animal, while others – including one poster who opined the appendage had belonged to a deceased fisherman and then severed from the rest of the body by a herring gull or other wildlife – claimed that it was a human hand.
Forensic experts examined the remains, Saarte Hääl says, and found them to be of animal origin, most likely a seal.
"According to a forensic expert, these are not human remains," Kaido Vahter of the Police and Border Guard Board's Kuressaare station told Saarte Hääl.
The original story (in Estonian), replete with the offending image, is here.
Editor: Andrew Whyte