Lake Natron in Tanzania has been long known for its ability to seemingly ‘turn’ animals into ‘stone,’ and photos of these petrified creatures have circulated widely on the internet. But is this really the case?
According to scientists, while the lake’s extreme alkalinity and high temperatures can preserve animals that die in its waters, it doesn’t actually turn them into stone. Instead, the minerals in the water crystallize around the animal’s carcass, creating a ‘mummified’ appearance.
In fact, only a few species are known to be able to survive in the harsh environment of Lake Natron, including flamingos that come to breed there. The lake’s alkalinity and high salt content make it inhospitable to most other forms of life.
Despite this, the myth of Lake Natron’s ability to turn animals into stone persists, and photos of the petrified creatures continue to circulate on social media. Some have even speculated that the lake’s alleged power could be harnessed for artistic purposes, although the idea has been met with criticism from animal rights activists.
It’s important to note that while Lake Natron may not turn animals into stone, it is still a valuable ecosystem that supports a unique array of life, and efforts are being made to protect it from human activities that could threaten its delicate balance.