Flash Fiction Do It Thingy & Petrified Animals
This is so frigging creepy, I had to dive into it and play around. (That’s what she said.) But, seriously, LOOK.
There’s a lot of debate about this lake in Tanzania, which apparently is inhabited by fish which supply the birds with food. However, this very still lake has an extremely base alkalinity that preserves animals in a horrifically beautiful petrified state after they fly into its still surface. This got my mind racing about how water is a symbol of life, and this water is deadly as fuck. And yes, there is a chance it is a hoax, but I don’t like to believe that. And yes, the animals are posed. Read the damn article. Either way, I want this book so badly it hurts inside.
Photographed by Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land, petrified creatures pepper the area around the lake due to its constant pH of 9 to 10.5—an extremely basic alkalinity that preserves these creatures for eternity. According to Brandt:
I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. 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. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.
I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.
TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE AND ALL THE COMMENTARY GO TO http://t.co/vl5DPAn1Gk.
All images via © Nick Brandt 2013 Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY
Imagine, writer folks, if you were to get your greatest rival to the water’s edge? Would you push him or her in? What if you found a petrified body floating on the surface that looked like your long lost love? An extinct creature with blinking eyes? The possibilities are endless.
SHOW ME THE POSSIBLITIES, PEOPLE. Write me a flash fiction bit about Ol’ Lake Petrifico, and I’ll do something nice for you. I want to see what you can do. There’ll be a prize or something. Don’t pressure me.