Lake Natron is in Tanzania and is one of the most peaceful in Africa. But recently it became the source of some of the most phantasmagorical photographs ever captured by the lens. The images look as though living animals had instantly turned to stone.
Alkaline water Natron has a high pH (10,5) and can burn the skin and eyes of animals that are not adapted to it. The alkalinity of the water betrays the sodium carbonate and other minerals that flow into the lake with its surrounding hills during the rains. Interestingly, this lake is a kind of Deposit of carbonate of sodium, which once used in the mummification of the Egyptians. In addition, it acts as a fantastic type of preservative for those animals who are not lucky enough to die in the waters of lake Natron.
Despite the fact that some media spread information about the fact that animals die and turn to stone after contact with lake water, this information should not be taken literally. In fact, alkaline water of Natron become part of a thriving ecosystem of salt marshes and freshwater wetlands, where rare species of flamingos and other wetland birds, tilapia and algae.
Once the photographer Nick Brandt was traveling Africa and created fascinating images of the lake and its "victims", which were published in the book called "Through the tormented earth."
Brandt discovered the remains of flamingos and other animals with deposits of sodium carbonate on the bodies, and, to the surprise of the photographer, dead animals looked very boldly.
"I unexpectedly found the creatures — all sorts of birds and bats, which lay along the shoreline of lake Natron," says Nick in his book, Nobody knows for sure how they died, but ... the water had an extremely high concentration of salts, which would destroy my tapes for a few seconds."
"I took the creatures found on the shore, and then put them in the "real" composition, "bringing them back to life." So were these photos," wrote Brandt, talking of the terrible images.
During the breeding season, over 2,000,000 Small flamingos use of Natron as the main breeding sites in Africa. Bird nest built on a small salt Islands formed in the lake during the dry season.
Natron is one of two alkaline lakes in this part of East Africa. The other is lake Bahi. Both the pond is fed by hot springs and small rivers. Because of shallow lake, in hot climates the temperature can reach 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius). This, in turn, triggers the activity of bacteria that it was in this period stained the lake red. And in the driest periods, the lake even covered with salt crust. published