Interesting Facts about Lake Natron

An abundant in minerals lake, Lake Natron is located in northern Tanzania, Africa. Because the water in Lake Natron flows in but does not flow out and can only evaporate, the lake is referred to as a salt lake or an alkaline lake. One of the most fascinating lakes to learn about is this one. Lake Natron is a small lake with a length of 35.4 miles (57 km), a width of 13.67 miles (22 km), and a depth of about 9.8 feet (3 meters). This lake’s capacity has not yet been established. The water in the lake is extremely alkaline, with pH values that sometimes exceed 12. 

The dry season’s evaporation of moisture raises the salinity level, which is ideal for microorganism growth. As a result, they begin to bloom. Due to its high temperatures and dry weather, Lake Natron’s habitat is unsuitable for most animals and birds to establish homes. Nevertheless, a few creatures, like tilapia fish and birds like flamingos, are able to survive in such environments.

Here are some interesting facts about Lake Natron:

  1. Many animals have found Lake Natron to be an unsuitable environment. But for some, like flamingos, tilapia, and other fish species, and wetland birds, it’s simply the ideal environment to live in. Because it is home to 75% of the world’s population of flamingos. Flamingos have historically fed on these organisms to live because the high salinity promotes the growth of algae and some aquatic life. The flamingos survive without drinking water by feeding on the microorganisms that give the sea its pink color. The tiny lake serves as the principal nesting place for more than 2 million flamingos (Phoenicopterus minor) in Africa throughout the breeding season. On little islands that grow in the lake during the dry season, the flamingos build their nests.
  2. The deadly character of Lake Natron makes it more interesting. The fact that Lake Natron is one of the most corrosive and inhospitable lakes in the world and that its temperature can exceed 140F makes it so due to its alkaline composition (60 C). Due to the lake’s extremely hot and caustic water, even a brief attempt to swim or contact the water could cause your flesh to burn off. The lack of suitable habitat for most living things, including birds and animals, makes Lake Natron lethal. 
  3. Due to its warmth and environment, Lake Natron experiences unusually erratic rainfall, and the water level is constantly changing. There are numerous hot springs and rivers near the lake.  One of two alkaline lakes in that region of East Africa is Lake Natron, the other being Lake Bahi. Both are terminal lakes that are supplied by hot springs and little rivers but do not flow into any rivers or the ocean. The crimson hue of Lake Natron is caused by halophiles, a type of salt-loving algae that thrives in the lake’s salty water. Nevertheless, the lake’s hue varies over time.
  4. With so much to discover, Lake Natron is a place you should visit with your family if you enjoy traveling and are full of adventure. Flamingos, active volcanoes, and a variety of other fascinating features can all be found at Lake Natron. Near the lake, which is close to Tanzania and on the Kenyan border, there are even prehistoric human footprints that have been preserved over the years. As this region is typically very hot and dry, it is best to travel there between June and August, when temperatures are at their lowest. The summer months have a mild, dry atmosphere that is ideal for hiking and exploring the lake.
  5. Egyptian mummification preserved the deceased by using sodium carbonate, which is present in the lake. Egyptian mummification entails completely drying out the corpses so that all the water evaporates, leaving only a preserved, dried structure that does not decay.
  6. Tata Chemicals industry expressed interest in Lake Natron and a desire to construct a soda-ash facility there in 2006. However, after two years, in May 2008, they abandoned the plan due to international worries over its detrimental effects on the local populace and Lake Natron’s fauna. The mining of soda ash at Lake Natron is not economically viable, according to research. There would be no advantages to building a soda-ash plant, in addition to disrupting the habitat of locals and smaller flamingos. According to the research, it is important to prioritise protecting the area’s large population of lesser flamingos and other animals, and investments should be undertaken with this goal in mind.
  7. Famous photographer Nick Brandt captured eerie pictures of Lake Natron’s dead animals. Nick Brandt noticed the deceased creatures, which he captured in striking relief with their pale sodium-carbonate storage. Nick Brandt claimed that no one is aware of the cause of these animals’ deaths and that he discovered the dead bodies of the animals and birds close to the lake’s shoreline. He then placed the remains in the “living postures” in which they were before their deaths. “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,” Brandt wrote, referring to the way he repositioned the animals. “Reanimated, alive again in death.”
  8. The majority of the lake’s water comes from springs and sporadic streams; it has no outflows. The lake’s water is extremely alkaline because the water entering the lake leaches through the volcanic material of nearby Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai.
  9. Additionally, Lake Natron is governed by a number of international laws that have been in place for many years and are in charge of keeping both its artificial and natural pride intact. It also includes the east African halophytics in the global wildlife fund.
  10. A proposed hydroelectric power facility on the Ewaso Ngiro River, which is the major river supplying Lake Natron, would harm the tranquilly of the lake and its flamingo population. Despite how remote the lake is the Europeans didn’t even locate it until 1954—neither the lake nor the imperilled flamingo population are subject to any safeguards.

Read more, Deepest Lakes In The World

In the heart of East Africa lies the surreal and mesmerizing Lake Natron, an otherworldly marvel. As the sun dips below the horizon, this alkaline soda lake in Tanzania transforms into a painter’s dream, showcasing vivid hues of pink and red due to the presence of microorganisms and salts. Nestled amidst the Great Rift Valley, the lake’s unique ecosystem, brimming with flamingos and diverse birdlife, adds to its ethereal beauty.

Lake Natron is a testament to the natural wonders of our planet, inviting intrepid adventurers and curious souls to immerse themselves in its extraordinary scenery, a timeless reminder of Earth’s stunning biodiversity. A visit to Lake Natron is a voyage into an uncharted world, where the ancient dance of nature unfolds in a breathtaking spectacle.

Feature Image: Flickr