Lake Natron in Tanzania transforms animals into statues creating eerie natural sculptures

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Look at these photographs of calcified animals!

It is surely the most horrific depiction of the “bird of peace” since Picasso’s Guernica.

calcified flamingo at lake natron tanzania by Nick Brandt, Nick Brandt photo, Nick Brandt calcified animals, Nick Brandt calcified animals lake Natron, Nick Brandt calcified animals lake Natron tanzania, ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND, nick brandt ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND, nick brandt photo
Calcified flamingo at lake Natron in Tanzania. Photo by Nick Brandt

Lake Natron is situated in Tanzania and is everything but hospitable: its water temperatures can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5. Yes, pretty harsh!

Natron, so the name of the lake, is a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. In this arid region of Africa, it has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley.

Calcified dove (left) and sea eagle (right) at lake natron tanzania by Nick Brandt, calcified birds at lake natron tanzania by Nick Brandt, Nick Brandt photo, Nick Brandt calcified animals, Nick Brandt calcified animals lake Natron, Nick Brandt calcified animals lake Natron tanzania, ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND, nick brandt ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND, nick brandt photo
Calcified dove (left) and sea eagle (right) at lake Natron in Tanzania. Photos by Nick Brandt

As shown by the amazing photographs of Nick Brandt, animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified, yes they are like petrified and perfectly preserved.

No one actually knows with certainty how they die. High temperatures and salinity play of course a major part, but the extreme reflective nature of the lake‘s surface could also play an important role by confusing birds.

So like crashing into a glass windows, they crash into the lake.

Calcified bat at lake natron tanzania by Nick Brandt, Nick Brandt photo, Nick Brandt calcified animals, Nick Brandt calcified animals lake Natron, Nick Brandt calcified animals lake Natron tanzania, ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND, nick brandt ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND, nick brandt photo
Calcified bat at lake Natron in Tanzania. Photo by Nick Brandt

You can find the Brandt’s new collection of photos featuring animals in east Africa in ACROSS THE RAVAGED LAND. A nice gift for any nature lovers!

Find more about Nick Brandt and his work on Artsy.

Learn more about killer lakes here.

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