Roopkund is a glacial lake located at an altitude of about 5,029 metres in Uttarakhand, a state in India. When the ice melts, hundreds of human skeletons are seen below the surface or floating in the waters.
The lake was first discovered in 1942 by a game reserve ranger, although there are reports about these bones from late 19th century. Initially it was speculated that the remains were those of Japanese soldiers who had sneaked into the area, and then perished to the ravages of the inhospitable terrain. This being the time of World War II, the British immediately sent a team of investigators to determine if they had stumbled upon some secret enemy move. However, upon investigation it was discovered that the corpses couldn’t belong to Japanese soldiers, as they weren’t fresh.
DNA testing placed the dead into two distinct physical categories - one of short stature and the other significantly taller. Their findings also revealed that the bodies belonged to a much earlier time than previously thought. Carbon dating put the date around 850 AD.