Lake Natron Turns Animals to Stone ... Really!

10/02/2013 at 07:45 PM EDT

Lake Natron Turns Animals to Stone ... Really!
Lake Natron
Jean-Luc MANAUD/RAPHO
Next time your dog destroys a pair of your shoes, remind him of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania.

It's a lake in Africa that turns all animals who come in contact with it to stone, and some of its victims are featured in photographer Nick Brandt's new book, Across the Ravaged Land.

According to New Scientist, the lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate mixed with a dash of baking soda. When animals take a dip in it, they are calcified, like something out of a horror film. To see the shots, click here.

Brandt discovered the bird carcasses laying along the shoreline and posed them for the images he took. "I could not help but photograph them," he said. "No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake's surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake."



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