Lake Natron turns animals to stone-like statues

By on October 15, 2013

A lake in northern Tanzania is turning living animals into stone-like statues, New Scientist reported.

Lake Natron, named for the naturally occurring compound found in its water, kills nearly all animals that immerse themselves in it. The natron-heavy water calcifies the creatures, leaving them in a statuesque state of preservation.

The lake has been known to reach temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius, and possesses an alkalinity between pH 9 and pH 10.5. The hardy alkaline tilapia is the only known inhabitant of its waters. The natron found in the lake comes from volcanic ash and is composed primarily of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.

Lake Natron and its calcified victims are subjects of photographer Nick Brandt’s recent book, Across the Ravaged Land.


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