Lake Natron, with its brilliant red and orange hues, is one of Tanzania’s most spectacular sights. The majority of creatures that drink from the lake will perish, despite its beauty.
The source is Atlas Obscura
Lake Natron is located in northern Tanzania, adjacent to Kenya, and is both beautiful and infamous. It measures 35 miles from north to south and 14 miles across. The majority of its water is supplied by hot springs and the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River. Since the water pouring into the lake leaches through the alkaline surrounding bedrock, the lake’s water is extremely salty. It also contains large concentrations of natron, often known as sodium carbonate decahydrate.
The climate there is so dry that the majority of the scant precipitation evaporates before reaching the ground. Typically, the water temperature ranges from 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (40 and 60 Celsius).
Although most organisms cannot survive in the hot lake water, cyanobacteria, a salt-loving bacterium, thrives there. Additionally, it is responsible for coloring the lake red. The photosynthesizing pigment in the cyanobacteria colors the deeper portions of the lake red, while the shallower portions of the lake take on an orange tint
The red seas are visible from far space! NASA’s Earth Observatory is credited with the image
Even while the colorful surface can be rather alluring, it is a lethal trap for the majority of creatures. Lake Natron’s alkaline waters can reach a pH level as high as 12, when life normally prefers a pH level closer to 7. The pollutants in the water cause skin and eye irritation. If a creature consumes the water, its cells, neurological system, and livers will likely be irreparably damaged, leading to its death. However, nobody knows with absolute certainty how animals die. Some hypothesize that the highly mirrored surface of the lake confuses them, much like a giant window, causing them to smash into it.
Due to the particular properties of the lake, creatures that perish in the water get calcified. It is commonly believed that the lake converts these unfortunate animals into stones, although the actual process is more akin to mummification. Nick Brandt, a photographer, has taken photographs of mummified birds and bats that perished in the toxic waters of Lake Natron. The collection of spooky photographs depicts Lake Natron’s lethal power in a very original manner
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Most animals can’t live in Lake Natron because of how poisonous it is, but lesser flamingos are one of the few species that can. In fact, they do so well in these harsh conditions that Lake Natron is the only place where more than 2.5 million endangered flamingos can breed naturally, and 75% of the world’s flamingos are born there.
Flamingos do well in the area because the lake protects their nests from being attacked by other animals. They can also eat the algae and cyanobacteria that live in the lake. In fact, that’s what they like to eat the most.
Lesser flamingos live in Lake Natron because it is a great place for them. Christoph Strassler took this picture.
Even though the water is poisonous, it doesn’t hurt these animals because their skin is so tough. Also, water and other chemicals are filtered out of their bodies by glands in their heads. When flamingos eat cyanobacteria, the only side effect is that they turn pink.
Georgios, yet deadly. Explorersweb is the source.
A great example of a natural wonder is Lake Natron. Flamingos use it as a home and a place to raise their young, which makes it even more important to keep it in all of its beauty. Tanzania put the lake on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance because of its important ecological functions and the unique wildlife that lives there.