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Ghosts of Lake Natron
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📸 by @nickbrandtphotography

Lake Natron is inhospitable to life.

With a pH level as high as 11 (the same pH level as ammonia), the water can burn the skin and eyes of animals that aren’t already adapted to it.

The alkalinity of the water is caused by a high concentration of sodium carbonate that flows into the lake from the surrounding hills.

Ancient Egyptians used sodium carbonate in the mummification of dead bodies. The compound dried out the bodies of the dead and prevented them from decaying.

The technique was so effective that some mummified bodies over 3,000 years old are in as good a condition today as they were when the person died.

These rock-solid animals were posed in “living positions” by photographer Nick Brandt and “reanimated” – in other words, propped up for the purpose of taking these photos.

The actual cause of death of these animals in unknown, although they theorize that the extreme reflective nature of the lakes surface confuses them, causing them to crash into the water.

These photos and more can be found in Nick Brandt’s Book: Across the Ravaged Land.