LAKE NATRON, Tanzania (NEW SCIENTIST) - According to Dante, the Styx is not just a river but a vast, deathly swamp.
Unless you are an alkaline tilapia – an extremophile fish adapted to the harsh conditions – it’s not the best place to live. Lake temperatures can reach 60 °C; the alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5.
The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda thrown in.
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, who has a long association with east Africa, took a detour from his usual work when he discovered perfectly preserved birds and bats on the shoreline.
"I could not help but photograph them," he says. "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."
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
Slippery spots today, lakes become more active through the middle of the week.
Police say that with the assistance of local media, they were able to identify the person responsible.
Monday is being billed as a national "Day of Action" among teachers and community groups who are worried about the state of education.
The jury listened to disturbing testimony last week and Monday they could begin deciding the teenager’s fate.
It's been one month since Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the Philippines, leveling towns and killing nearly 6,000 people.