Lake NatronNow here's a hazard you never thought your pet would face.
Scientists have discovered a lake that actually turns animals who take a dip to stone. Yes. Stone. Solid. Hard. Unmoving. Stone. It sounds like something out of a creepy fairy tale -- but it's true. There are even photos showing proof of its poor, unsuspecting victims.
According to New Scientist, Lake Natron afflicts any animal who happens to take a dip. Located in Tanzania, it's named after the chemical found in it. Natron is made of sodium carbonate mixed with baking soda. It's unclear what first kills the animals, but it seems that the mixture is what makes them quickly calcify like they had been zapped by a Harry Potter's magic wand.
Photographer Nick Brandt snapped some of the animal carcasses he found on the shoreline. They were perfectly preserved. Almost like they had been frozen in time. Among the eerie images are flamingos, bats, eagles, and swans.
Fortunately, it does not appear to be a danger to humans. Still, it's really a reminder of how powerful nature is. So many things can look harmless and innocuous but hold hidden, never before imagined dangers. Oddly, there is a lot of beauty in those haunting images. In a way, it seems like taxidermy. I know several people who have opted to preserve their beloved pets once they die. It's hard to let go of that faithful, loving dog, cat, bird, etc. So perhaps this is Mother Nature's own version of taxidermy.
Image via Nick Butcher/Flickr