It is so-called due to its high alkalinity. The water of this lake has a high amount of Natron chemical(a mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate, kind of soda ash, and some percentage of sodium bicarbonate). The pH of the fluid in the lake is measured to be 10.5 which is nearly high as ammonia. This salt lake is in the Arusha region in the country of Tanzania(specifically Northern Tanzania). 2° 25′ 0″ S, 36° 0′ 0″ E is the coordinate for this alkaline lake. It is entirely shallow, about 9.8 ft intense while the width varies. The lake runs to 35 miles in length and 14 miles wide. Temperatures at the lake reaches above 40 °C (104 °F) oftentimes.
Where does Natron come from?
High temperatures and high evaporation level leaves behind natron and trona(sodium sesquicarbonate dihydrate) and due to these fragments, the alkalinity reaches a peak of 12, and the lake precisely originates its color from salt-loving microorganisms that grow in its alkaline liquid. Spirulina, a blue-green algae with red stains, passes its stains along to the Lesser Flamingos that feed on the algae.
The salt coating changes over time putting on the variation in the appearance. The reports say that Volcanic ash from the Great Rift Valley has accumulated in local lake basins, establishing a configuration of soda lakes antagonist to most organisms. This rough atmosphere enables Lake Natron to serve millions of flamingos as the ideal nursery; would-be predators avoid the saline lake and vacate young birds in peace. It can burn the eyes and skin of animals that aren’t adapted to it. However, it’s a home to many flamingos, they also have to be cautious as the lake can turn fatal to them. Rainfall plays a vital role in its alkalinity. The temperature can reach 60°C when the lake is flooded with water that has warmed up below the ground.
The uniqueness of Lake Natron provoked Tanzania to add the lake to the Ramsar
List of Wetlands of International Importance on July 4, 2001.
Lake that turns animals to stone? Some media reports say the creature just turn to stone and expire after coming into contact with the lake’s water. In fact, Lake Natron’s alkaline waters support a thriving ecosystem of salt marshes, freshwater wetlands, flamingos, and other wetland birds, tilapia, and the algae on which large flocks of flamingos feed. Photographer Nick Brandt has captured haunting images of the lake and its dead in a book titled “Across the Ravaged Land” (Abrams Books, 2013).
Brandt somehow found out the remains of flamingos and other animals with chalky substances like sodium carbonate residues tracing their bodies. “I unexpectedly found the creatures — all manner of birds and bats — washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron,” Brandt wrote in his book. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but … the water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds.”
“I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in
‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life,’ as it were,” Brandt wrote, relating as
he moved the animals. “Reanimated, alive again in death.”
Images credit: © Nick Brandt 2013 Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY.
The popularity of the lake increased after a book was published by the