There’s something hauntingly beautiful and indeed powerful about photographer Nick Brandt‘s animal portraits that are part of his new book Across the Ravaged Land, the third and final volume in a trilogy documenting the disappearing animals of eastern Africa. Brandt discovered the dead animals along Lake Natron in northern Tanzania. Known to be one of the harshest environments on Earth, the lake temperature can reach 140°F and the alkalinity is almost equal to that of ammonia. Needless to say, the water is deadly, and animals that find their way in gradually become calcified. Despite the obvious darkness here, the creatures exude this sort of eternal presence, forever immortalized—their soft feathers giving way to hardened, statuesque transformations.