Lake Natron in Tanzania is a salt lake, meaning water flows into it but only escapes it through evaporation. What makes Lake Natron so different from other salt lakes like the Dead Sea (yes, it’s actually a lake!) and the Great Salt Lake is Lake Natron’s high alkaline nature. With its highest pH measure being 10.5, coming into direct contact with Lake Natron spells certain death for all its unlucky victims.

When photographer Nick Brandt stumbled upon it while shooting in East Africa, the first things he saw were the calcified corpses of the birds and bats that had died after falling into the deadly lake. 

Nick Brandt wrote in his photo book Across the Ravaged Land that nobody knows for sure how these animals died but the extremely reflective surface of the lake might have confused them, causing these animals to fly directly into the lake. 

During the dry season, Nick Brandt realised that the calcified, preserved corpses of these animals would be washed ashore in entire flocks. “You’d literally get, say, a hundred finches washed ashore in a 50-yard stretch,” he told Smithsonian Magazine.

Nick Brandt had posed the carcasses to show life-like positions but the carcasses were found exactly this way and all he needed to do was position them as he needed to for his photos.


, , , , ,

About Author

Leave a Reply