This glacial lake, whose real name is Roopkund despite being known as Skeleton Lake , is located in the state of Uttarakhand, in India. It is not famous for its beauty, nor for its environment, but for being one of the strangest places on the entire planet, surrounded by an aura of mystery that still remains unsolved.
The lake, surrounded by glaciers and snow-capped mountains, is famous among lovers of tanatotourism, those who make trips to places associated with death and tragedy. Why? Because in 1942 a ranger patrolling the area discovered hundreds of frozen human bodies in its waters.
The strange and terrifying that surrounds the place has caused the local government to describe it as a “mysterious lake”. A lake that, depending on the season and the weather, which remains frozen for most of the year, expands or contracts. It is precisely when it contracts, when the snow melts, that the skeletons are visible.
It’s no wonder that scientists around the world have asked question after question since its discovery. Who were they? When and how did they die? Where do they come from?
What we do know is that between 600 and 800 skeletons have been found that, since their discovery, have not stopped raising theories about how they ended up there. The first of them deduced that it could be due to an epidemic, an unforeseen avalanche or a storm and placed the remains between the 12th and 15th centuries.
Bones in Skeleton Lake, India | Schwiki
Others suggest that they are the remains of Indian soldiers who tried to invade Tibet in the 19th century and who died on the way. There are even old theories that say it is the remains of an Indian king, his wife, and his slaves, who died in a storm in the 9th century.
The skeletons are from different parts of the world
Despite all the theories that have surrounded this dark lake, the reality is quite different, and it is beginning to be clarified thanks to large studies such as that of the magazine Natur e.
In an extensive analysis carried out in the area, they came to the conclusion that the remains are not from the same ethnic group, nor from the same era. That is, they neither came from the same place nor died in the lake at the same time.
Specifically, they say that skeletons have been found from South Asia and others of typical western Mediterranean descent, related to the people who live on the Greek island of Crete.
S ccording tests Radiocarbon dating indicated that these skeletons were not deposited in the same place: some bodies date back to the year 800, and others of 1800, leaving a temporary difference between them more than 1000 years.
This study ends up producing many more doubts about the place. The first of them is that the skeletons did not end up there for a single event, but for several prolonged events that led to the death of those who were there.
What the study does end up determining is that it is not believed that the death of these people was due to some bacterial pathogen that could cause a common disease, thus invalidating the theory of a possible epidemic.
It is believed that it was a pilgrimage area
One of the theories now being held is that the lake was a former pilgrimage area where people could flock to. And although credible pilgrimage accounts do not appear in the area until the 19th century, there are inscriptions in local temples that date between the 8th and 10th centuries , which might suggest that there were much older pilgrimage routes.