Modern humans are thought to have been around for just 200,000 years, but the discovery of what looks like a bridge dating back 1.7 million years has thrown everything that scientists believed they know about humans into question.
The bridge stretches from India to Sri Lanka and Indian legend states that King Rama, a Hindu deity, built such a bridge more than a million years ago.
It is known as “Adam’s Bridge” and some suggest that it is proof that humans have been around much longer than thought.
Dr S. Badrinarayanan, former director of the Geological Survey of India and former coordinator of the survey division of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), studies core samples of the bridge and believes that it is indeed a man-made structure.
He told Rediff: “It is not a natural formation; the top portion of it appears to be a man-made structure.
“To understand what I am saying from the geological point of view, you have to get to know several things.
“What is known as Adam’s Bridge is originally a natural grade divide separating the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean to the south. So, the geological aspects are different on either side.”
He added: “We found marine sands on top and below that was a mixed assemblage of corals, calcareous sand stones, and boulder-like materials.
“Surprisingly below that up to 4–5 meters [13–16 feet], again we found loose sand and after that, hard formations were there.”
He added that “below the corals and boulders, we are getting loose sand, which means it is not natural.”
However, Suvrat Kher, a geologist who specialises in marine formations, said that the formation is natural.
He wrote in a blog post: “During the Pleistocene ‘ice-age’ period, glacial buildup and melting forced fluctuations in sea-level by tens of meters, setting up the conditions for several episodes of coral reef and sand shoal formation.
“During periods of large sea-level drops in the Pleistocene, there would have been a land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
“But at the end of the last Wisconsin glaciation, the sea-level began to rise world-wide.”