Lake Natron is an insidious trap for the birds of northern Tanzania: The terrifying lake turns to stone all birds that are foolish enough to immerse themselves or unlucky enough to fall into its deceptive water.
Volcanic ash from the nearby Great Rift Valley contaminated Lake Natron with sodium carbonate and baking soda to the point that only extremophile fish like the alkaline tilapia can survive there, while other animals that take a dip will soon thereafter feel their bodies begin to calcify and harden until they look as if they've had a run-in with the White Witch or Medusa.
Even trickier is that the combination of chemicals in the water makes the lake extremely reflective, which often confuses birds into diving into it.
If there are this many statues above the water, it must be an aquatic garden of statues at the lake's creepy bottom.
The effects and dead scenery of Lake Natron are both fantastic and morbid, inspiring associations with certain Tim Burton movies and other Edward Gorey-esque imagery.
pix: Nick Brand