Ram Setu Man-Made or Natural Bridge: Fact Check


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Picture about Ram Setu Bridge Man-Made or Natural
Ram Setu Bridge Man-Made or Natural

Story:

Is Ram Setu Man-made or Natural? The famous bridge the Ram Setu connecting India and Sri Lanka is Man-Made or a Natural Formation?

Fact Check:

The existence of the famous Ram Setu bridge connecting Indian Peninsula and Sri Lanka is a popular debate. So, is Ram Setu Man-Made or Natural formation? Let us analyze the claims.

Picture: Lord Rama and Vanara Sena allegedly Built Ram Setu
Lord Rama and Vanara Sena allegedly Built Ram Setu

Mythological Importance of Ram Setu

Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu and Mannar island off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. It was first mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana written by Valmiki in the verses 2-22-76 as ‘Sethubandhanam’. That is, Vanara Sena of Lord Rama built Ram Setu with instructions from Nala, son of  Vishwakarma-the architect of Gods. Lord Rama and his Vanara Sena used Rama Setu to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from ‘Asura Ravana’.

Few early Islamic sources refer to a mountain in Sri Lanka as Adam’s Peak, where Adam supposedly fell to earth. After that he crosses from Sri Lanka to India on what we came to know as Adam’s bridge.

 

Adam's Bridge NASA Satellite Image
Adam’s Bridge NASA Satellite Image

Ram Setu Man-Made or Natural Formation?

According to the Indian geologists, Ram Setu bridge might be man-made; not a natural formation. They say the floating stones used in building the bridge are unique. Geologist and former director of the Geological Survey of India, Dr. Badrinarayanan was puzzled with their research findings on Ram Setu.He says:

“We found marine sands on top and below that was a mixed assemblage of corals, calcareous sandstones, and boulder-like materials. Surprisingly below that up to 4-5 meters, again we found loose sand and after that, hard formations were there”.

According to Dr. Badrinarayan, the coral formations usually occur on hard surfaces. The ocean and sand layers cannot form them. Hence the coral rocks might have been brought from elsewhere and placed here. So, he suggests Adam’s bridge or ‘Ram Setu’ is man-made.

Other Scientific Claims about Ram Setu

NASA believes Adam’s bridge is a 30-mile-long, naturally occurring chain of sandbanks in Indian ocean, formed over a period of time. However, few scientists say the continuity of the bridge as seen in images from NASA satellite is just an illusion which is caused by a combination of cloud cover and suspension of white calcium carbonate sediment. NASA, however, denies making any official statement about Adam’s bridge. It says that it cannot have an official position about it. That is, it cannot determine whether humans were involved in producing any of the patterns seen in the photograph.

According to Suvrat Kher, a sedimentary geologist, the mysterious formation of corals in between two sand layers, is a natural formation. He says the shallow water systems produce vast amounts of sediment, forcing local change in sea level and currents. These changes – over time – can bury the adjoining sedimentary environment.This process can also happen with corals and boulders. This kind of migrating and shifting environment over a long period of time can create a geological section that appears like Adam’s bridge.

In late 2017, an American Science Channel restarted the debate on Ram Setu saying it is was man-made; not natural. It presents NASA satellite images showing a chain of large submerged objects running between Sri Lanka and India.

Studies of Geological Survey Of India

When the Geological Survey Of India conducted studies under ‘Project Rameswaram‘ they found that the rocks sitting on top of the sand pre-date the sand itself. That is, the rocks were 7000 years old while the sand underneath it was around 4000 years old. So, this suggests someone brought the rocks and placed here. Hence, the above findings point toward the idea that the formation of Ram Setu is man-made, not a natural phenomenon.

Various scientific studies give a number of explanations about the formation of  Adam’s bridge or Ram Setu. Few studies also suggest Ram Setu is a ridge formation from thinning of the Earth’s crust.

So, is Ram Setu Man-made or Natural? The exact origin of Ram Setu or Adam’s bridge remains unclear as of this writing.

Hoax or Fact:

Undetermined.


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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