Now if we were to tell you that there’s a lake located deep in Tanzania that turns any animal that touches it into stone, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re telling you a fairytale. But there is no voodoo magic or Harry Potter mischief going on here, it’s all down to Mother Nature herself.
The pH value of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania is somewhere between 9 and 10.5 making it so alkaline that anything that hits the surface becomes preserved indefinitely. It’s name ‘natron’ is actually derived from a compound that is predominantly comprised of sodium carbonate, volcanic ash and baking soda. Any animal that immerses itself in the water, dies and then becomes calcified.
Here’s what he had this to say about the lake itself and his inspiration for the series:
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.
His flawless photographs are haunting beautiful, life ended and suspended as it were. You can see the entire collection by getting yourself a copy of his work right here
Via New Scientist