There’s a lake in Tanzania whose salt content is so high that it mummifies any animals that fall into it. It’s called Lake Natron, named after a sodium compound found in the water. Natron absorbs liquid and acts as a natural anti-bacterial agent, and was widely used for mummification in Ancient Egypt because it dries out the corpse and preserves it from rot. And in Lake Natron, it produces fascinating animal mummies:
They don’t fly up and die on a perch like that, of course. They drown, and are washed up on shore. But photographer Nick Brandt has fished some of the mummies out of the drink, and posed them for a series of macabre photographs that we here on the nerd farm thought captured the spirit of Halloween quite well.
Of course, we also called the place “Mummy Lake,” so… We are obviously of limited intelligence. But if you’d like to be less of a dumb-ass than us, you can read a bit more of the science behind what happens at Lake Natron here: http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6152/20131001/tanzania-lake-natron-animal-statues-africa-flamingo.htm
And if you’d like to see more of Brandt’s photos (including some that aren’t mummies), go here: http://www.nickbrandt.com/portfolio.cfm?nK=14260&nS=0&nL=1
And… Oh, what the hell. Here’s one more for the road. Because MUMMY FLAMINGO!