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Medusa?!: Killer Lake Turns Birds Into Calcified Statues

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This is a small photographic series of birds (and a bat) that photographer Nick Brandt gathered around the shoreline of Lake Natron in Tanzania and posed for photos like they were still alive. The lake, which reaches temperatures as high as 60°C (140°F), also has a basic pH between 9 and pH 10.5 and can apparently calcify any animals that die in the lake. Hmmmm.... *GW launches dead pet calcification service*

The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.


"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."

Man, for birds it must suck crashing into a plate glass window. Or a deadly lake. That's like, the opposite of flying free like an eagle. Knowing me though, I'd be one of those birds that explodes trying to perch on a power-line outside your house. Oh well, at least I blew the power to your Xbox in the middle of a game.

Keep going for several more.

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Thanks to Blake R and E V I L A R E S, who want to set up a spa for rich people in the lake.

There are Comments.
  • Guest

    I think a witch cursed it. :P

  • iofo61

    Bat photo is upside down.

  • Guest

    The photographer of these photos actually found them along the shore, I think it was the shore at least, and placed them in very aesthetic positions. He makes phenomenal photos, but these guys did not die where they are in them.

  • Nate Barrett

    Captain Obvious strikes again.

  • JamesHaswell

    How could you tell? Is it because the shadows? Are they all wrong?

  • theend81

    Because in an article about the photographer, he states that they're found on the shore. These animals don't die instantly, many animals live in the lake.

  • qwert`

    ....so it didn't remind you of a certain movie then?

  • ZerglingPack

    I'm thinking it reminded him of a specific scene in one of the greatest movies of all time...

  • Sh17C0que

    No clue but want in.

  • Guest

    give me your answer do. I'm half crazy

    FAKE!!!! This is a total photoshop job.

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