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Lake Natron in northern Tanzania hides a terrible secret: the animals who dive in its waters remain petrified.

No animal can withstand this caustic environment and birds that touch the lake waters are trapped forever in the position of the last moments of life.

Thousands of bacteria and cyanobacteria are produced faster with a system very similar to photosynthesis; they contain a red pigment, able to color the entire lake, giving the typical dark red color with white stripes that attracts the attention of numerous tourists.

Lake Natron: the waters which petrify animals

The deadly waters

The lake’s waters contain sodium carbonate hydrate, better known as Natron, a lethal natural compound for many animals who risk their lives every time they approach it.

The only ones who can survive


The only ones who are able to build upon the waters of Lake Natron are a group of 2.5 million pink flamingos, which thanks to a protective layer on their legs and beak, nest in small islands located in the lake, feeding with seaweed formed by cyanobacteria.

It was used to embalm


Its waters in the past were used for embalming animals and people thanks to its water absorption properties. Natron makes the waters of the lake similar to ammonia, with a pH between 9 and 10.5, while the water temperature can reach 60 ° C.

Thousands of mummified animals

But the beauty of the lake turns deadly when the season is too hot and dry: the salinity of the water, in fact, increases to incredible levels, and the pH can burn the bones. In fact, around the lake, there is a large number of mummified animals.


Very strange, and also very scary! But it is always amazing what Mother Nature is able to create! Have you ever been there? Have you seen other strange nature’s creations around the world? As always I wait for your comments below!

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