Skip to main content

11 Famous Places That Are Littered with Dead Bodies

Lake Natron


The body of a flamingo on Lake Natron, as captured by photographer Rick Brandt. (Image credit: © Nick Brandt 2013 Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY)

You won't find human bodies in Lake Natron in Tanzania, but this tranquil lake is eerie nonetheless. With its caustic waters (pH 10.5 or so), Lake Natron preserves the bodies of the animals that die there, creating mummies that litter the shores. [See Photos of the Animals Turned to Stone in Lake Natron]

 A 2013 book catalogued the dead of Lake Natron in solemn grayscale: birds and bats, mostly. But life thrives in the lake, too. Flamingos (Phoenicopterus minor) breed on its islands, and salt marshes around the lake host other birds and fish. The odd chemistry of the lake is due to deposits of sodium carbonate in the surrounding land. These same minerals form the main ingredient of natron, the salt that ancient Egyptians used to mummify their dead.