British photographer Nick Brandt was travelling through East Africa when he discovered numerous deceased birds that appeared to be made from stone. Brandt was intrigued, so he got out his camera and photographed what he saw.
As it turns out, the unlucky animals had decided to take a swim in Lake Natron, a deadly lake in Northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border. What makes the lake so lethal is the extremely high soda and salt content, which caused these poor guys to calcify.
At three metres deep, the lake is quite shallow, but it varies in width depending on its water level. The water level changes constantly due to its high levels of evaporation, which leaves a mixture of salts and minerals (called natron).
For sake of the photographs, Brandt rearranged the animals in life-like positions so they could be “reanimated, alive again in death.”