Saturday, November 2, 2013

Lake Natron

Calcified Dove (photo by Nick Brandt) 

Lake Natron in northern Tanzania (map) takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5. The lake’s high levels of natron come from volcanic ash from the nearby Ol Doinyo volcano, and they've given the water a very unusual side effect: the sunlight reflecting off of the lake caused most of these birds to crash into the water, after which they are completely calcified and preserved. Photographer Nick Brandt arranged the unlucky birds in poses and photographed them.

Calcified Eagle (photo by Nick Brandt) 

Some more photos here.

next episode: ?


  1. At first I thought they were some kind sculptured art, totally man-made, I also had to read it twice to make sure I had it right. Great find, Rob.

  2. They remind me of some bizarre art H.R. Giger might have made.

  3. Oh that’s quite spooky - but very effective!

  4. Thank you, Rob, for introducing me to this fantastic photographer!!!


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