Archaeological Mystery

The Mystery of Natron’s “Death Lake” Turns Creatures Into “Living Statues”

Lake Natron is one of the saltwater lakes with the highest acidity level on Earth, located in northern Tanzania. The lake covers an area of about 1,040 kmĀ² and is formed by the water flowing from rivers in the Kilimanjaro mountain range and surrounding areas. The high acidity level of Lake Natron makes it one of the most frightening places on Earth.

However, the strange thing is that Lake Natron is one of the most important locations in the world for the hatching and development of the African flamingo, a species of rare and exotic bird. This may be because the high acidity level of the lake water helps protect the flamingo eggs from bacteria and insects.

In addition, Lake Natron is also known for another mystery, which is the images of dead animals in the lake. These images were captured by photographer Nick Brandt and show animals such as bats, birds, and even deer standing in natural poses. With the ravages of time and the impact of Lake Natron’s water, these animals have become unique and bizarre natural paintings. Scientists have explained that the acidity level of Lake Natron’s water can cause the natural mummification of these animals after they die, similar to the process performed using salt and chemicals in mummification rooms.

Images of petrified animals in Lake Natron

In addition to animal remains, Lake Natron also preserves a 19,000-year history. According to geologist Dr. Cynthia Luitkius-Pierce from Appalachian State University, immediately after footprints are imprinted on the wet mud and ash, the sediment dries and hardens. The mud layer preserving the footprints is believed to have washed down from the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano along with a large amount of ash. The surface dries within a few days or even hours, preserving the footprints. The mud layer preserves traces of the ancestors of humans, their activities, and behaviors during the Paleolithic era along the shore of Lake Natron.

Now, try to come up with a question that asks: What would happen if we accidentally fell into this “deathly” water?

Recently, the YouTube channel Khoahoc made a video explaining what would happen if a human came into direct contact with the water that can “turn any living creature into stone” in this lake.

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