Tag Archives: alkali

nick-1 nickbrandt01zombirdbatbatLake Natron in northern Tanzania is a death trap for birds and bats who frequently slam into its highly reflective surface for much the same reason their urban cousins come a cropper on plate glass.

These images, from photographer Nick Brandt’s book Across The Ravaged Land, show the crispy carcasses of birds and bats found by Brandt on the shoreline and then posed – rather ghoulishly – as if still alive. Sez he:

Temperatures in the lake can reach up to 60 °C (or 140 °F) and the water has an extremely high soda and salt content which causes “the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.

Brandt’s work is currently exhibiting at the Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York.

Despite the extreme temperature and alkalinity, the lake is a major breeding area for flamingos. The birds nest at the shoreline, feeding off a species of talapia  – fish adapted to life in the hot salt water that feed on similarly adapted algae.

MORE: Meet the fish that happily live in the lake that turns birds to stone (BoingBoing)