Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is named for a naturally occurring compound made of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. The lake's high levels of natron come from volcanic ash from the Great Rift Valley, and they've given the water a very unusual side effect: Animals that die and are submerged in the lake are completely calcified and preserved. Photographer Nick Brandt documented the lake's terrifying process, taking pictures of birds and bats that have appeared on the lake's shoreline. "I could not help but photograph them," he told New Scientist. "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."