Lake Natron: Northern Tanzania Lake Turns Birds to Stone

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 2, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Lake Natron, located in northern Tanzania, petrifies all animals that fall into it. A photographer captured images of birds that were essentially turned into stone.

The lake has high salt content and has a mix of chemicals including baking soda and soda ash in its waters. Fish can only survive along the edges of the lake

Photographer Nick Brandt said, “I could not help but photograph them,” according to New Scientist. He said he found the birds and other animals along the lake’s shore and set them up for photographs.

According to the publication, the lake is blood-red and is filled with bacteria. It has a pH of between 9 and 10, meaning it is especially alkaline.

Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce, with Appalachian State University in North Carolina, told ABC News that a person will not feel the burn immediately after being splashed with the lake’s waters.

“You might feel a little bit of a tingle,” she told the broadcaster “You’ll want to wash it off because it will irritate your skin.”

Brandt recalls finding petrified bodies of bats, flamingos, swallows, and eagles.

“I unexpectedly found the creatures — all manner of birds and bats — washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania,” Brandt told NBC News. “I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life.'”

The lake is a popular place to visit, Liutkus-Pierce said.

“Lots of people go to see the flamingoes,” she said. “It’s a tourist draw.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.