Lethal lake turns anything to stone

ASHLEY FEINBERG
Last updated 10:01 03/10/2013

Related Links

Africa up close It gets a bit wild in Africa Descending into South Africa

Relevant offers

Africa

A year of tight spots, thieving baboons and great opportunities Down the Zambezi River to Zimbabwe and where the wild things are The world is flocking to photograph this Moroccan plunge pool 'Witch crash lands': why the rise of fake news should concern us all The great forbidden love affair between an African prince and an English commoner Breakfast with the giraffes: Where you can breakfast with endangered Rothschild giraffes at a colonial manor house Producers of David Attenborough's Planet Earth share their favourite places The eyes have it; Trump causes division everywhere Chobe National Park, Botswana: Africa's best wildlife watching location Ghana's colourful and eccentric fashion trends

There's a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with a deadly secret - it turns any animal it touches to stone. The rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, but the petrified creatures it leaves behind are straight out of a horror film.

Photographed by Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land, petrified creatures pepper the area around the lake due to its constant pH of 9 to 10.5 - an extremely basic alkalinity that preserves these creatures for eternity.

According to Brandt:

"I unexpectedly found the creatures - all manner of birds and bats - washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake's surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry."

I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in 'living' positions, bringing them back to 'life', as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.

The rest of the haunting images follow and they feature in Brandt's book, available here. Or, you could go and visit for yourself - but keep a safe distance from the water, please. [New Scientist]

- Gizmodo.com.au

Ad Feedback

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content