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The Red Hot lake of Tanzania, landing on which animals turn into dead-stone instantly.

Lake Natron is a salt or soda lake in Arusha Region in Tanzania, Africa. It is in the Gregory Rift, which is the eastern branch of the East African Rift. The lake is within the Lake Natron Basin, a Ramsar Site wetland of international significance.

There are numbers of mysterious stories associated with this mystic lake. According to those whatever touches the water of this lake turns into dead-stones. Actually, there are a large number of sculpture like statues of animal present surrounding this lake, that gives birth to these mysterious and black-magic stories. No human lives here in around 50 square kilometre zone.

This came to limelight in 2011, when Nick Brandt, a wildlife photographer visited this place, and was astonished by its dreadful view, as he saw countless animals including birds are lying dead surrounding it’s red coloured water. According to Nick “Those were like neatly made stone sculptures of animals lying there for ages.”

The lake is fed principally by the Southern Ewaso Ng'iro River, which rises in central Kenya, and by mineral-rich hot springs. It is quite shallow, less than three metres (9.8 ft) deep, and varies in width depending on its water level. The lake is a maximum of 57 kilometres (35 mi) long and 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide. The surrounding area receives irregular seasonal rainfall, mainly between December and May totalling 800 millimetres (31 in) per year. Temperatures at the lake are frequently above 50 °C (114 °F).

High levels of evaporation have left behind natron (sodium carbonate decahydrate) and trona (sodium sesquicarbonate dihydrate). The alkalinity of the lake can reach a pH of greater than 12. The surrounding bedrock is composed of alkaline, sodium-dominated trachyte lavas that were laid down during the Pleistocene period. The lavas have significant amounts of carbonate but very low calcium and magnesium levels. This has allowed the lake to concentrate into a caustic alkaline brine.

According to experts, this high temperature of the lake water for a major part of the year helps in massive vaporization of water, and leaves a thick layer of lava below it, where the animals and birds get stuck often. Associated with it, the high pH level of more than 12 along with that hot water is nearly unbearable for any living animal in this planet, and this deadly combination is the main reason behind their death.

The presence of Sodium Carbonate is the lake water gives birth to large numbers of Cyanobacteria, which are red in colour and as a result of which the water of the lake looks red in colour too. This unfortunately attracts a lot of animals and birds towards it, and causes their death.

But as every coin has its opposite side, there is a twist here too! The Natron lake is the largest breeding site of the Laser Flamingos of North Africa. The green-blue algae or cyanophyta present in the top layer of this shallow lake is the most favourite food of Flamingos, and thus it helps the Laser Flamingos immensely to stay here and breed during their breeding time.

According to scientists, the Laser Flamingos have developed a perfect tactics of leaving here, and have accustomed themselves with this deadly pH level of lake water. That’s why not a single dead-body of Laser Flamingo have got found near the lake till date, although nearly 25 lakh of them travels to this area of the world in their breeding times!

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