Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns To Stone

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone

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]

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone
Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone
Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone
Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone
Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone

All images via © Nick Brandt 2013 Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY


Comments

    why has nobody thrown a lion or an elephant in yet??

    Last edited 02/10/13 10:33 am

      Because they are wondering why you haven't been thrown in yet I assume.

        A+++++++++++++++

    I had that problem in Baldurs Gate once, east of Beregost. Turned out to be a basilisk in that case, seems likely in this case to.

      100% agreed. This is why you should always carry a mirrored shield in those parts.

      Holy shit, I wonder if this kind of phenomenon was the source of the basilisk myth?

    He's got the Bat perched the wrong way up.

      Nah, I think the photo is just upside down on this site...
      you can see the upside down hills in the background at the top of the photo :)

    Same thing happens in my toilet cubical! Weird!

    I'd be very wary of this photographer if I were a small animal in the vicinity. "Unexpectedly found". Riiiight.

    The bat photo needs to be rotated 180 degrees.

      Why would you wanna see its back?

    Now that i know a ph of 10.5 is bad it has shed some light on why my sons pet fish kept dying. DO'H

    If it's due to the reflectiveness of the lake, I wonder why bats have ended up in there assuming their echolocation isn't fooled by the lake

    "Kodak film boxes"?? What is this, the Eighties??? Who uses film?!?!?!

      No, no, he just had the boxes laying around from the 80s. These days he carries all his SD cards around in them,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_format_(photography)

      people who use large format?

    i wouldn't say "Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns To Stone".

    flamingos live in this lake, & even a hardy form of tilapia fish.

    but otherwise, great photos.

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