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The mystery of India’s ‘lake of skeletons'

The show Time/source BBC

High in the Indian Himalayas, a remote lake nestled in a snowy valley is strewn with hundreds of human skeletons.

Roopkund Lake is located 5,029 metres (16,500ft) above sea level at the bottom of a steep slope on Trisul, one of India's highest mountains, in the state of Uttarakhand.The remains are strewn around and beneath the ice at the "lake of skeletons", discovered by a patrolling British forest ranger in 1942. For more than half a century,

Anthropologists and scientists have studied the remains.The lake has attracted curious scientists and visitors for years. Depending on the season and weather, the lake, which remains frozen for most of the year, expands and shrinks. Only when the snow melts are the skeletons visible, sometimes with flesh attached and well preserved. To date, the skeletal remains of an estimated 600-800 people have been found here. In tourism promotions, the local government describes it as a "mystery lake".

For more than half-a-century anthropologists and scientists have studied the remains and puzzled over a host of questions.Who were these people? When did they die? How did they die? Where did they come from?One old theory associates the remains to an Indian king, his wife and their attendants, all of whom perished in a blizzard some 870 years ago.

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