instagram vimeo youtube pinterest bloglovin


Lake Natron - Hellish Lake That Turns Its Victims To Stone

Lake Natron - Hell Like Lake That Turns Its Victims To Stone
When photographer Nick Brandt approached the shoreline of Lake Natron in Tanzania he faced a eerie sight. Calcified corpses of birds and bats were lying on the earth, as still and stiff as statues.

bat turned to stone
Nick brand animals in stone
lake natron, lake tanzania, flamigo
The phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, it's constant pH of 9 to 10.5 is an extremely basic alkalinity that preserves these creatures for eternity. And its water can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celcius). No one quite knows for sure why these animals fly into the water.

According to Brandt:
"I unexpectedly found the creatures - all manner of birds and bats - washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. 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. 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.
I took these creatures as I 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."
All images via © Nick Brandt 2013. You can buy the book here.


  1. Wow, what a freakishly horrific, but interesting phenomenon! Must read more about it. I have never heard of such a place. Kind of reminds me of bog body finds- a subject included in one of my favorite poet's poems Seamus Heaney. -Jess L

  2. oh my god! that's so terrible. it's like they've seen basilisk's eyes and got petrified! so crazy. these pictures are so powerful

  3. wow these are crazy!