Medusa?!: Killer Lake Turns Birds Into Calcified Statues

October 2, 2013

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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.

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