Quickly making their way around the web are these fascinating photos by Nick Brandt that show an eerie lake in Africa turning animals into stone. According to Brandt's new book, Across the Ravaged Land, Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is a death trap for birds and bats who appear to slam into it due to its surface's extremely reflective nature. Confused, the birds crash into the lake as if it is a plate glass window.
Temperatures in the lake can reach up to 60 °C (or 140 °F) and the water has an extremely high soda and salt content, arising from volcanic ash accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are quickly calcified.
These deceased creatures were found on the lake's shoreline and then Brandt arranged them in living positions to bring them back to life, albeit for a few seconds before they died. "I could not help but photograph them," he says. "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."