Like us on FB for more awesome posts!
Don't show this - I already like Bored Panda

Deadly African Lake Turns Birds Into Salt Statues

The grim reaper is a humanoid representation of death that is familiar to almost everyone. Photographer Nick Brandt, however, has captured a mesmerizing series of images at Lake Natron in Africa showing us what the grim reaper‘s animal equivalents might look like.

Lake Natron is a salt lake in Tanzania. It it an extraordinarily harsh environment, where the extremely salty water may reach temperatures of 60 C (140 F) and an alkalinity almost as high as that of ammonia. The lake is completely uninhabitable to all but a few organisms – salt-loving bacteria, alkali-loving fish that live near the hot springs that feed the lake, and flamingoes, which can nest safe from predators on small islands of salt. Interestingly enough, the salt-loving algae that the flamingoes eat at lakes like these are part of the reason that they become pink, alongside the shrimp that they also dine on.

The process by which these unlucky birds have died is unclear, but the author says that a factor in it is the lake’s extreme reflectivity, which may cause birds to crash into the water, die, and become calcified husks. Brandt found the birds while working to capture the grandeur of Africa’s disappearing wildlife, which has been a major part of his life’s work. The birds were left as-is, except that the author posed them to make for better photographs.

Source: Nick Brandt (via newscientist)

Like us on FB:

Subscribe to Boredpanda's newsletter.

3.000.000+ monthly readers


What's hot on Bored Panda

What do you think?

  • Kirsty Cherrie

    wow, amazing photography!

  • Johanne Haaber Ihle


  • Katoh Khwankhong

    what happened there?

  • Evert F-j Veendijk


  • Gina Gregory

    The lake is not a killer lake. Those are animals that died and dried up with the elements of the lake turning them into stone

  • Carmen D. Rivera

    that is soooo sad :(

  • Vee Amie Wallfleur

    take me there.

  • Camila Mantilla


  • Kyle Grizzly Adams Ligon

    Kyra Ward

  • Ginger Brown-Young


  • Osama Yousaf

    wow thats good stuff

  • Rakel Helmsdal


  • Rakel Helmsdal

    Citations should be given credit, Sercan Uzun, even if people are dead….

  • Ali Mead


  • Yonatan Dolan

    i dont think its natural

  • Crystal Hernandez

    Alan, Rebecca, this is sad but beautiful photography!

  • Christina Brunner

    This is creepy, sad and beautiful at the same time!

    • Brenda Brocal

      My thoughts, exactly!

  • Mariska Vd Haak


  • Vio Mo AlsOb


  • Dina Ka

    creeeeaaaaapy though … ))

  • Anonymous

    Too staged almost like politics

  • Lamber Sav

    scary !

  • Lisa Florentinus

    Horror and beauty… it gives me the creeps!

  • Audie Ray

    Very beautiful

  • Zeina Boutros Badawy

    Ok that was creepy! :(

  • Alice Harmer

    Loren Bishop

  • Cristina Nasui

    death can be beautiful but i disagree with this being a depiction of that concept…

  • Eli Francisco


  • Kinga Jach

    Justina Justyna Jach

  • Mouni Mouni Mouni

    whatever these are…one thing is sure that I have seen some incredible and fabulous photographs!!!

  • Andrew Costigan

    Beautiful, and all big variety of birds there…What fuck is the bat doing there

  • Avik Dey

    Dark, very dark indeed.

  • Nadya Berumen

    Waahh…eerily beautiful. (°_°)

  • Cars360


  • Jack Quigley

    this is creepy as shit.. amazing.. but eerie.. but just, words cannot describe it

  • Kim-Oliver Sauer

    lake nyos in cameroon

  • Nathalie Guimond


  • Kathie Hoblitzell


  • Lidia Mössmer Gibson

    Death, maybe, but dying? Not

  • Sebastiano Malafronte

    Yes, the photos are lovely, but much more beautiful is the creative mind behind the captured images.

  • Sebastiano Malafronte

    Yes, the photos are lovely, but much more beautiful is the creative mind behind the captured images.

  • Sebastiano Malafronte

    Yes, the photos a lovely,but more beautiful is the creative mind behind the images.

  • Sebastiano Malafronte

    Yes, the photos a lovely,but more beautiful is the creative mind behind the images.

  • Ian Lawrence


  • Jacques Louis David

    so, he DIDN’T leave them as is.

    • Christina

      i think he’s trying to say that the wings etc. were not moved even though the artist moved the birds as a whole to new locations to create artistic shots

  • Edyta Reguła


  • Edyta Reguła


  • Ashley Oxendine


  • From the Heartland

    If these were real, there would be more than one reference of them on the net. This is the ONLY site I was able to find these pictures are floating around the internet.

    • foljs

      Yes, because as we all know, real things have 2 internet references or more. Are you fucking kidding me?

      • From the Heartland

        Obviously I was on something the day I wrote my first post – or I did something wrong when I googled this. There are tons of references, from reputable sources. My bad! (haven’t used that expression for a while! LOL)