Every summer, hundreds of ancient bones emerge from the ice. A new genetic study helps explain how they got there.

Nestled in the Indian Himalayas, some 5000m above sea level, sits Roopkund Lake. Thirty nine metres wide, it is frozen for much of the year, a frosty pond in a lonely, snowbound valley. But on warmer days, it delivers a macabre performance, as hundreds of human skeletons, some with flesh still attached, emerge from what has become known as Skeleton Lake.

Who were these individuals, and what befell them? One leading idea was that they died simultaneously in a catastrophic

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