Friday, October 04, 2013

Nick Brandt’s Haunting Photos in His New Book “Across the Ravaged Land”

Photographer Nick Brandt released his latest book Across the Ravaged Land.

It features haunting photos of a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with holds a deadly secret, Due to its unique chemical makeup, it turns any animal it touches to stone. Brandt captures the petrified creatures on camera. The whole area around the lake petrifies animals due to its constant pH of 9 to 10.5, which is an extremely basic alkalinity that preserves these creatures for eternity.

Brandt explains:

"I unexpectedly found the creatures - all manner of birds and bats - washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. 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. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.

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. Reanimated, alive again in death." 

The haunting images look like stills from a horror movie or a Dr. Who/Warehouse 13 episode. But the poor creatures featuring in Brandt's book are (too) real, and it is therefore strongly recommended to stay away from the real thing….and whatever you do - don't touch it!

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