Science & Tech

Horrifying 'red lake' turns anything that touches it into stone

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Nature can be a very, very scary place at times.

Every now again, the natural world likes to remind us just how terrifying it is and the latest talking point is no exception.

Members of the scientific communities are focusing on an African lake that turns animals to stone, and it's one of the most fascinating places we never knew existed.

Lake Natron is in the north of Tanzania on the border with Kenya and it’s an incredibly hostile place for most creatures.

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There is one animal that has flourished in the lake, the endangered lesser flamingo. However, for most animals, it’s a very dangerous place.


Creatures who come into contact with the lake's red-coloured water seem to be instantly frozen in place, and it’s all to do with the contents of the water.

The high salt and alkaline levels in the lake lead to calcification, which is the accumulation of calcium salts in the body.

It’s a pretty horrifying way to go, too. While the animal dies pretty quickly, its body remains and has the appearance of being turned to stone with everything pretty well reserved.

It’s an area that has fascinated wildlife enthusiasts and scientists alike. Photographer Nick Brandt is one of them and his work includes photographs taken in the lake showing corpses in the lake.

Speaking to NBC News, Brandt said: "I unexpectedly found the creatures — all manner of birds and bats — washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania.

"I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in 'living' positions, bringing them back to 'life'."

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