Sri Lanka only became an island in 1480, when a cyclone destroyed the land bridge connecting it to mainland India.

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Adam’s Bridge, also known as Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu, is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 50 km long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (south-west) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 1 to 10 metres deep in places, which hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel: temple records seem to say that Adam’s Bridge was comp… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

10 thoughts on “Sri Lanka only became an island in 1480, when a cyclone destroyed the land bridge connecting it to mainland India.”

  1. LDKCP

    I was in Sri Lanka a few years ago and I took a bus down to the South Coast.

    I got chatting with a friendly local who sat next to me. He told me he worked in Colombo, but he used to run a hotel.

    He said the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami meant he had to change careers.

    I said “Oh, was the hotel badly damaged?”

    He smiled. “Damaged? We couldn’t find it!”

  2. fastinserter

    Which is why it’s connected in Crusader Kings but not Europa Universalis.

  3. backflipsben

    This is the kind of content I subscribed for. Good stuff.

  4. RealityCheck18

    And that was when the sri lankan elephants started getting evolved separately from their Indian cousins, and they started growing a little bit bigger than their Indian counterparts.

  5. uponmelanchlyhill

    This is just one of those things that make you go ‘ofcourse, that makes sense’.

  6. vg1220

    Interesting connection to the Indian tale of the Ramayana. For those not familiar, Rama and his army build a bridge from India to Sri Lanka to rescue his kidnapped wife.

  7. bikinibikes

    I visited India a few years ago. One of the locals told me there’s a belief that one of the deities had built the bridge to help rescue a princess from a demon king, but that bridge got lost over the centuries.

    I might have some of the details wrong, it’s been a few years.

  8. EveryQuantity

    I like the way NASA are like “See Wikipedia for more information”

  9. MrAlbs

    Avatar Kyoshi flexing her skills

  10. pramodc84

    Its called [Adam’s Bridge – Wikipedia](

    *Mythology:* In Ramayana epic its constructed by Lord Rama and his monkeys.

    *Reality:* The Archaeological Survey of India found no evidence for the structure being human-made.


    Here is interesting note [](

    Extract from the link

    >Deeper ocean currents don’t enter the section between Sri Lanka and India because of the Cont Shelf. The sea surface in this section is dominated by longshore currents in two directions – one from Gulf of Mannar and other from Palk strait and they are in opposite directions. Longshore currents bring a lot of sediments. And at the meeting point of the currents they settle and form these islands

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