|Jellyfish Lake in Mecherchar Island|
Palau has around 57 marine lakes and each is unique. There are two different types of lakes in Palau. Mixed and Stratified lakes. Most of them are very difficult to reach. The largest one has 2000 m long and 60 m deep with small island inside the lake.
The Mixed lakes have tunnels connected to the ocean so they have coral reef animal live at all depths.
The stratified lakes are poorly connected to the ocean only trough small cracks and crevices and stratified from top to bottom with bottom layers lacking oxygen, do not have corals and usually surrounded by mangroves. Instead ,they have colorful sponges, anemone…. At least 12 lakes in Palau are stratified including the famous Jellyfish Lake with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide bellow.
Many marine lakes in Palau have Jellyfish of various species, “ Jellyfish Lake” is the only one open for tourist for conservational and ecological reasons. The lake is 400 m long , 150 m wide and 30 m deep. Because of the layer of poisons hydrogen sulfide bellow 15 m there is no marine life. Scuba Diving is no allowed but yes the snorkeling.
In Jellyfish Lake are found around 5 million of a unique subspecie of Golgen Mastigian Papua and nowhere else in the world. The lake used to be home for another kind of Jellies, the Aurelia Moon usually they were found deeper or below the Golden Mastigias but it appears that this Jellies no longer exists in the lake since the strongest El Niño recorded in 1999 and after this event the Aurelia Moon Jelly slowly disappear from the lake.
The Jellies have adapted to live in this lake, as the sun rises they swim in a migratory pattern towards the sun heading the east and as the sun passes overhead around noon the jellies turn and swim back towards the sun heading to the west.
The Jellyfish swim this way to avoid the edge of the lake where their real and natural predators wait for them, an endemic sea anemone, who will brush up against their tentacles.
Definitely a visit to the Jellyfish Lake is a must when you come to Palau, be able to swim surrounded by millions of harmless jellies is a unique experience and Palau is one little places in the world that you can do it.
That’s way we have to have to keep the lake healthy with simple guidelines like minimize the amount of sunscreen protection used, do not through trash into the lake, so not disturb, kick, handle or disturb the jellies, the are very fragile and can be easily torn apart…etc!
|Golden Mastigias Papua Jellyfish|
LET’S ENJOY THE UNIQUE & NATURAL HERITAGE OF PALAU………!