Here's one very good reason to visit Tanzania: it turns out the country's northern part is home to one very freaky lake, i.e. Lake Natron, that not only kills whatever animals decide to take a bath in it, but also turns them into statues.New Scientist tells us that, aside from reaching temperatures of about 60 degrees Celsius (degrees Fahrenheit), the water in this lake packs significant amounts of natron.
This is a chemical compound that occurs naturally, and whose “recipe” includes loads of sodium carbonate and just a pinch of sodium bicarbonate, the same source details.
Thanks to its unique chemical make-up, Lake Natron causes whatever creatures spend too much time in it to die and eventually calcify.
In case anyone was wondering, the picture above was taken by photographer Nick Brandt. It shows a flamingo that was killed and mummified by the compounds found in this lake in Tanzania.
The photographer was the one who arranged the flamingo is this pose. Odds are the bird didn't exactly look peaceful at the time of its death.