Here among the flowers I lie/Laughing everlastingly.
October 28, 2019 9:11 PM   Subscribe

India's Roopkund is a lake filled with hundreds of skeletons. Previous study had concluded that everyone had been killed by a catastrophic hailstorm, but new research indicates that the skeletons are not all from the same time period or even the same geographic area. What killed the visitors to Skeleton Lake?
posted by Johnny Wallflower (25 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
The skeletons got ‘em
posted by aubilenon at 9:18 PM on October 28, 2019 [37 favorites]


At first I was like hundreds of skeletons isn't exactly jam packed in a lake of even moderate size, but a quick click showed it is more puddle than lake. Spooky!
posted by Literaryhero at 9:31 PM on October 28, 2019


They thought it would look cool.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:09 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


The King who went there for a party got killed by the hailstorm. He had powers though, and was pissed, as he was a king with powers, so he cursed the place big time, drawing travelers on pilgrimage to stop. And then his curse called down another deadly hailstorm. Repeat for a thousand years...
posted by Windopaene at 10:13 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


So it should be called Lich Lake instead?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:16 PM on October 28, 2019 [6 favorites]


Couldn’t pay me to go there.
posted by odinsdream at 10:17 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


You could totally pay me to go there
posted by aubilenon at 10:20 PM on October 28, 2019 [17 favorites]


As for going there....

Mountain tourism in Uttarakhand (the state in which Roopkund is located) is a bit of a hot-button issue right now. Last year, the state High Court issued a wide-ranging ruling severely restricting travel into the mountains; this followed from high-profile deaths and reports of severe environmental degradation. Things had apparently gotten pretty bad. I can't find a source now, but I had heard of people taking bones from the lake.

Anyway, people suck, and if you do want to go there, hopefully some day you'll get to. Just try not to treat the place like a garbage dump.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:49 PM on October 28, 2019 [8 favorites]


Did they test the water? Maybe it's poison?
posted by bleep at 11:49 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


Here is a source for tourists removing bones from the site.

It seems difficult to reach this lake, under snow or ice for 8 months of the year, and a 3-4 day trek at other times... How many people would actually go there to remove skeletons?


I find it interesting that this article mentions the causes of deaths to be avalanche or blizzard as opposed to the hailstones theory.


A very strange story!
posted by McNulty at 1:11 AM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


“For the love of God, Montresor!”
posted by chavenet at 2:31 AM on October 29, 2019 [7 favorites]


The lake has a hidden intermittent methane (or some other poisonous thing) source that occasionally erupts and kills everyone who happens to be on the lake at the moment? Cthulhu farts.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:39 AM on October 29, 2019 [10 favorites]




If the lake isn’t poisonous I wonder if it occasionally releases methane? I have read about huge methane bubbles that form under lakes and then the bubble releases. Perhaps that occurred and anyone near the lake at the time was (will be?) engulfed in methane gas?
posted by terrapin at 4:24 AM on October 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


The lake waits.
It is not yet hungry but will be soon.
posted by scruss at 5:49 AM on October 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


So it should be called Lich Lake instead?

Liche Gumee.

The judges would also have accepted Lake Spookerior.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:04 AM on October 29, 2019 [7 favorites]


Roopkund (locally known as Mystery Lake, Skeletons Lake, Moria, or Khazad-dûm)[1]
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:07 AM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


Honestly, my biggest worry about this lake is that it’s something super boring like “everyone who freezes to death in this whole valley winds up getting their body washed there when things thaw out due to how the geometry works out”
posted by aubilenon at 8:16 AM on October 29, 2019 [9 favorites]


If you're interested to learn more about the genetic methods for studies like this, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich is a good read.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 AM on October 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


The King who went there for a party got killed by the hailstorm.

Everyone shouted “Hail to the King!” and a god took notice.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:47 AM on October 29, 2019 [8 favorites]


I never brought the hailstorm theory. "Everyone has massive head wounds but only head wounds, no other broken bones" doesn't say hailstorm, it says organized murder of prisoners.
posted by tavella at 9:46 AM on October 29, 2019 [8 favorites]


welcome... to the BONE ZONE
posted by FatherDagon at 11:24 AM on October 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


Well, you know. A hailstorm of organized murder.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:27 AM on October 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've heard the theory that this lake is where you take aged parents you just can't support anymore and, ya know, give 'em a little nudge over the edge.
posted by MiraK at 6:13 PM on October 29, 2019


MetaFilter: where you take aged parents you just can't support anymore
posted by Wolfdog at 5:40 AM on October 30, 2019


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