BREAKING NEWS
Police seek appeal on rugby player Losi Fiilipo's sentencing ... Read more
Close

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

South Africa: The amazing destination no one cares about Tro-tros offer way through traffic woes Travel tips: How not to get eaten by a lion in Africa How to plan your life-changing (but expensive) safari Weight and other unwanted advice part of cultural shift Celebration of food with song, dance and scariness Things to do in Marrakesh, Morocco: Three-minute guide Only macho men, lead guitarists and good looking spinsters need apply Watch: Australian tourist gets knocked over by a 300kg gorilla in Rwanda Liberia's lab chimps have hope, one year on from New York Blood Center abandonment

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