Eerie Photos in Time for Halloween

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Water Turns Animals to Stone

Read about this strange land of petrified beasts

Petrified Bat

You’ve no doubt heard of Petrified Forests. They are places where trees have had their organic matter replaced by minerals. The rings, bark, everything look very much like a tree. Yet they are hard as stone. Because they are.

Just in time for Halloween, we have found that it is not just trees that can become petrified.

Sure, we can all be scared. And there is the phrase “scared to death.” But we thought flesh and blood turning to stone only happened when you looked at Medusa, and other horror stories.

As it turns out, it can happen. And does happen in a lake in Tanzania.

Calcified Fish Eagle

Photographer Nick Brandt has created a new book, Across the Ravaged Land, filled with eerie photos. The photos are of actual animals, petrified–and by that, we don’t me scared, although no doubt it is a scary experience–unfortunate enough to come in contact with the water.

There’s a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with a deadly secret – it turns any animal it touches to stone. The rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, but the petrified creatures it leaves behind are straight out of a horror film.

These are not warm and cuddly animals. But they are the remains of animals, looking more like creepy sculptures created for Halloween than their flesh and blood relatives who escaped their fate.

How are they preserved? In short the alkalinity of the lake. The pH of 9 – 10.5 is enough to preserve them for many a Halloween to come.

As if we needed more reasons to stay out of the water.


Thanks to ArtFido for the original article, which can be read here (along with more eerie photos.)

All images via © Nick Brandt 2013 Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY

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