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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)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kirsty.cherrie Kirsty Cherrie

    wow, amazing photography!

  • http://www.facebook.com/johanneihle Johanne Haaber Ihle

    beautiful?

  • http://www.facebook.com/korranat Katoh Khwankhong

    what happened there?

  • http://www.facebook.com/evertfj.veendijk Evert F-j Veendijk

    Indeed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LadyWarwick 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/carmen.d.rivera.52 Carmen D. Rivera

    that is soooo sad :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/vivamissvee Vee Amie Wallfleur

    take me there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/camilamantillag Camila Mantilla

    :o

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.g.ligon Kyle Grizzly Adams Ligon

    Kyra Ward

  • http://www.facebook.com/ginger.brownyoung Ginger Brown-Young

    Creepy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.cannibal Osama Yousaf

    wow thats good stuff

  • http://www.facebook.com/rakel.helmsdal Rakel Helmsdal

    incredible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rakel.helmsdal Rakel Helmsdal

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/alithewitch Ali Mead

    wow

  • http://www.facebook.com/yonatan.dolan.9 Yonatan Dolan

    i dont think its natural

  • http://www.facebook.com/crystal.glenn.37 Crystal Hernandez

    Alan, Rebecca, this is sad but beautiful photography!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christinabrunner72 Christina Brunner

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

    • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.brocal Brenda Brocal

      My thoughts, exactly!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mariska.vdhaak Mariska Vd Haak

    Wauw

  • http://www.facebook.com/lalalagirl Vio Mo AlsOb

    WOW

  • http://www.facebook.com/sunflowersFR Dina Ka

    creeeeaaaaapy though … ))

  • Anonymous

    Too staged almost like politics

  • http://www.facebook.com/jukumari.kalistu Lamber Sav

    scary !

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.florentinus Lisa Florentinus

    Horror and beauty… it gives me the creeps!

  • http://www.facebook.com/audie.garver Audie Ray

    Very beautiful

  • http://www.facebook.com/zbbadawy Zeina Boutros Badawy

    Ok that was creepy! :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.harmer.90 Alice Harmer

    Loren Bishop

  • http://www.facebook.com/OCNasui Cristina Nasui

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/ManThatEli Eli Francisco

    Marvelous!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kinga.jach Kinga Jach

    Justina Justyna Jach

  • Mouni Mouni Mouni

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.costigan Andrew Costigan

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/obheek Avik Dey

    Dark, very dark indeed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/na.brmn Nadya Berumen

    Waahh…eerily beautiful. (°_°)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Cars360 Cars360

    mmm

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.quigley.165 Jack Quigley

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/BenAvion Kim-Oliver Sauer

    lake nyos in cameroon

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathaliekguimond Nathalie Guimond

    Woooooow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathie.hoblitzell Kathie Hoblitzell

    wierd

  • http://www.facebook.com/lidia.m.gibson Lidia Mössmer Gibson

    Death, maybe, but dying? Not

  • http://www.facebook.com/sebastiano.malafronte.1 Sebastiano Malafronte

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/sebastiano.malafronte.1 Sebastiano Malafronte

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/sebastiano.malafronte.1 Sebastiano Malafronte

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/sebastiano.malafronte.1 Sebastiano Malafronte

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/iank09 Ian Lawrence

    stunning

  • 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Edyta Reguła

    amazing…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Edyta Reguła

    amazing…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.oxendine.5 Ashley Oxendine

    Freaky.

  • 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)