In Tanzania, there’s a lake that turns animals to stone.
At New Scientist, they explain that It’s got to do with the chemical makeup of the water:
The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.
Photographer Nick Brandt came upon these petrified birds and placed them in these ‘living’ poses. He says no one knows exactly how the birds die, but it’s possible the lake is so reflective that they crash into it like a plate glass window and calcify into these eerie statues. Sounds like a pretty horrible way to go.