Mystery of The Lake In The Himalayas Filled With Hundreds Of Skeletons Humans Remains Piled Up At The Edges!

Mystery of The Lake In The Himalayas Filled With Hundreds Of Skeletons | Humans Remains Piled Up At The Edges!

Imagine hiking through the majestic Himalayas, with the air so crisp and cool. Suddenly, you stumble upon a lake filled with skeletons! Well, it’s real! The Skeleton Lake, known locally as the Mystery Lake or Roopkund is located in the Uttarakhand state of India. This lake is a trekker’s destination with a spine-chilling twist. Every year, when the ice melts, the lake reveals its dreadful secret. Hundreds of human skeletons are eerily piled on the lake’s edge. When it was first discovered, it stirred many speculations. However, they were believed to be the bodies of people from 2 diverse groups dating back to 800 CE and 1800 CE.

The lake varies in size as it freezes and unfreezes from time to time. But it’s not more than 40 meters in diameter and is about three meters deep. Tragically, it has become the final resting place for hundreds of bodies. Let’s dive in to know more about who they are and the tragic reason behind their death. 

War Casualties or Epidemic Victims?

First discovered by a forest ranger named Hari Kishan Madhwal in 1942, Roopkund’s skeletal phenomena sparked many wild theories. The theories suggested that these are bodies of war casualties or victims of epidemic outbreaks. Nevertheless, scientific examinations tell a different story. 

Researchers have analyzed these bones using DNA sequencing and radio-carbon dating. Interestingly, they date the remains back to different groups from around 800 CE and 1800 CE! These bones belonged to pilgrims, journeying through the Himalayas, only to meet a tragic end. Several artifacts, including jewelry and wooden artifacts, accompany the bones. These artifacts display a cultural montage of the bygone travelers. 

skeleton lake
Image source: Wikipedia
Image source: The Atlantic

A Tragic Last Journey!

The local lore suggests a pilgrimage led by King Jasdhaval of Kanauj ending in disaster at Roopkund or Skeleton Lake. However, science adds depth to this tale. Genetic evidence indicates that the deceased belonged to two primary groups. One likely of South Asian descent, and the other with more distant roots, possibly from the Mediterranean. Supporting the legend of a catastrophic hailstorm, injuries on the skeletons correspond with blunt trauma from above. This led to the belief that their cause of death was likely from large hailstones. 

Forensic and archaeological findings paint a graphic picture of the last moments of these pilgrims. The injuries suggest a violent hailstorm, with large hailstones causing fatal wounds. Bioarchaeologists and paleopathologists have helped in understanding the diverse origins of these groups, showing a glimpse into the lives of those who walked the mountains centuries ago.

Image source: The New York Times


Skeleton Lake aka Roopkund remains a testament to the unpredictable power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit. It’s a place where myth, history, and science converge to tell a story that is as fascinating as it is tragic.

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