If you know anything about Palau in Micronesia then you probably have some idea of the lake full of jellyfish. If not, then it’s likely you will soon have it on your travel to-do list!
As are most places in Micronesia, Palau is absolutely beautiful. It also has a very unique attraction which entices visitors year-round. It’s called Jellyfish Lake.
Your visit to Palau wouldn’t be complete without a snorkeling trip to Jellyfish Lake. Like swimming in a lava lamp, squishy jellies surround you as you explore this unique environment.
These jellyfish are going places.
There are millions of jellyfish that call this lake home with Moon and Golden being the two types of jellies that do. The typical jellyfish floats with the current with no real sense of direction. Not the Golden Jellyfish. It migrates across the lake and back every day, following the arc of the sun.
It’s an isolated ecosystem.
While the lake connects to the ocean, the environment is closed off to changing conditions. The jellyfish trapped inside the lake have seen their sting weaken so that they are not harmful to humans. This evolution is a fascinating demonstration of species diversification.
It’s a saltwater lake.
Marine lakes connect to the ocean by cracks in the surrounding limestone rock. Out of the 50 marine lakes in Palau, Jellyfish Lake is the only one open to visitors.
Jellyfish Lake consists of several layers.
A pink bacterial layer keeps oxygen from getting to the lowest layer. This anoxic lower layer begins at 12-14 m (40-45 feet). Unlike most lakes, the two layers never mix.
No scuba diving allowed.
If the two layers of the lake ever were to mix, the entire ecosystem of the lake could be affected. Besides the fact that exhaust bubbles could harm the jellyfish, the deeper anoxic layer of the lake contains hydrogen sulfide, which is poisonous to humans.
Saltwater crocodiles live nearby.
The only saltwater crocodiles in Micronesia live in Palau however for the most part, they leave snorkelers and free divers alone and are not a threat. It is advised however to check with your tour guide or local authorities before participating in water activities nearby mangroves.
There are so many unique and wonderful adventures available in this part of the world. Take a look at our Micronesia Vacation Spotlight to be learn more.