Lake Natron in Tanzania is one of the most dangerous places in the world for an animal to be. With temperatures in the lake rising up to 140 °F (60 °C) the lake scorches animals, and then hardens them into stone when they cannot escape. Why then are birds still flying into this hellish place?
In the New Scientist, photographer Nick Brandt says, “the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.” He elaborates further on the deadly nature of 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.”
Though he rearranged the animals for the pictures, they remain in the exact condition he found them. For more pictures check out Brandt’s Photo Book Series, Across the Ravaged Land. The pictures will haunt you.