Lake Natron A Red Lake With Myths
There are several lakes which make you feel delighted with the sight. While, few amaze you with cool crystal clear water. Lake Natron is different from rest Lakes around the world. Lake Natron is a sort of Soda Lake with salt and high salinity. It is situated in Tanzania and Arusha Region. The lake is quite close to Kenya border, while on its Eastern branch is African Rift. The Lake holds great significance to balance eco-system.
Depth Info About Lake Natron
The Lake Natron is rich with minerals, hot-springs. The lake is very much shallow with around 3-meters deep, 57-km long and 22-km wide to be accurate. The area surrounding the lake receives irregular rainfall, the temperature is also above 40-degree Celsius.
The high temperature resulted in high levels of evaporation which left Natron- sodium carbonate Decahydrate and Trona- Sodium Sesquicarbonate dehydrate. The two elements makes the alkalinity high which rises the pH level greater than 12. The bedrock surrounding it is composed of sodium-dominated trachyte lavas. While the lavas is formed as a blend of carbonate and low amount of calcium & magnesium level.
Colour of the Lake
The Colour is the characteristics of the lake, its red colour is due to its high evaporation and high salinity. The level of salinity also increases as salt loving microorganism starts thriving. Its red accessory photosynthesizing pigment makes the lake red in deeper areas and orange colour in shallow areas.
The surface of the water is red coloured or dark-pink due to its alkali salt crust and salt-loving microorganism. The Freshwater wetland & Salt Marshes support a variety of plants.
Most of the animals find the temperature not suitable and high up-to 60-degree Celsius. Hardly any animal or birds migrate to this zone due to salt variable content inhospitable. Only Flamingos flock migrates and gather to feed on Spirulina- A green-blue algae with red-pigments on it. Flamingos in large number breed on the mud flats. Only two endemic fish species are found in this region the A. ndalalani and alkaline tilapias Alcolapia jatilabris.
Myths surrounding the lake
Sometime media have to be blamed for spreading not required pieces of stories. The past few years a fascinating pictures of mummified birds from Lake Natron were released, which gave rise to the rumours that the Lake Natron has got supernatural gorgon like powers. Undoubtedly, Lake Natron is a dangerous place for many animals and birds due to its high temperature. Many scientist too have claimed that the pH level from 9-10 is pretty high with 60° Celsius, which burns the eyes and skin of animal who are not adapted to it.
Let’s not fall prey to such myths and rumors, only a few animals are capable of living near this Lake Natron without facing any nuisance. The lake is known for largest breeding ground of Flamingos.