There’s a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with a deadly secret—it turns any animal it touches to stone. The rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, but the petrified creatures it leaves behind are straight out of a horror film. 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.
Inside of the abandoned Veterinary School of Anderlecht, Belgium: Hundreds of anatomical samples sit decaying in yellowing formaldehyde in this abandoned laboratory that has been all but forgotten for more than two decades but was found by a British urban explorer who goes by the pseudonym Chaos and took these pictures.
A snorkeling tourist floats in a cenote called Las Calaveras—“the skulls”—near Tulum. Local Maya got their drinking water here until about 30 years ago, when divers found bones. Archaeologists have recorded the remains of more than a hundred people, usually shrouded by the water’s primordial darkness.