Mystery of Himalayas’ Skeleton Lake solved? DNA analysis has this to say
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Ever heard about ‘Skeleton Lake’ in the Himalayas? Located at a height of 16,500 feet lies Roopkund Lake, popularly known as ‘Skeleton Lake’ or ‘Mystery Lake’. The major attraction of the lake is the human skeletons that lay here. It is said that the skeletons date back to the 9th century and can be seen when the snow on the lake melts. According to The Atlantic, there are various theories about the origin of the skeletons. According to a theory the skeletons are believed to be of Indian army personnel who were returning from the war, while according to other theory the skeletons are believed to be of a procession which had a king and his party of dancers who were struck down by a religious deity.

According to a study published in the Nature Communications, the researchers explored the genetic diversity of the 38 Roopkund individuals using a previously established Principal Component Analysis (PCA) that is effective at visualizing the genetic variation of diverse present-day people from South Asia relative to West Eurasian-related groups and East Asian-related groups. To study whether all the skeletons belonged to a single event or multiple events, they used Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the remains. It was found that the bodies belonged to three different periods – 7th to 10th centuries CE, 17th to 20th centuries CE and to the later period. The research also brings forward the facts that the remains belonged to people of different age and population groups. It was also studied that all of them had diverse diets.

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