Haunting Calcified Animals in the Shores of Tanzania’s Lake Natron

Seems nothing but an usual lake in Africa it is. Don’t be fooled, Tanzania’s Lake Natron has one deadly secret that covers these weird and abandoned lands. Just a single touch and your body becomes a calcified statue. Today we are going to check out this eerie set of photographs by Nick Brandt.

Yup, you heard me right. Many animals have passed away because of keeping to close to the water. This incredibly rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, the alkalinity of Lake Natron varies between pH 9 and pH 10.5. The environment is highly alkaline. It literally burns out the skin and eyes of poor birds and rats. Brandt said that many people in the region have seen birds crash-land into the water. So he believes the birds and bats were confused by the sky’s reflection in the lake and killed when they hit the water.

It should be noted the animals weren’t found in these haunting positions, here’s what Nick had to say:

I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. 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.

Nick Brandt took these creatures as he 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.

Calcified Fish Eagle

Haunting Calcified Animals in the Shores of Tanzania's Lake Natron

Calcified Caped Dove

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Calcified Flamingo

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Calcified Bat

Haunting Calcified Animals in the Shores of Tanzania's Lake Natron-4

Calcified Swallow

Haunting Calcified Animals in the Shores of Tanzania's Lake Natron-5

Calcified Songbird

Haunting Calcified Animals in the Shores of Tanzania's Lake Natron-6

Calcified Swallow II

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Calcified Bat II

Haunting Calcified Animals in the Shores of Tanzania's Lake Natron-8

All credits go to Nick Brandt, check his website for more incredible black and white photos!