Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Located on an uninhabited rock island off the coast of Koror in Palau, Jellyfish Lake is one of 70 saltwater lakes on this South Pacific archipelago that were once connected to the ocean, but are now cut off. It is notable for the millions of golden jellyfish which migrate horizontally across the lake daily.
An attraction most can only dream of, this daring and unusual phenomena, Jellyfish Lake, departs radically from convention; for it is an enclosed body of water wherein - over the course of a millennia - resident jellyfish have completely lost their sting because they have not had to fight off predators. Instead, they spend their days in privileged leisure, pulsating gently from one side of the lake to the other while catching the sun's rays and farming their own food supply of algae.
Jellyfish Lake is connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the limestone of ancient Miocene reef. However the lake is sufficiently isolated and the conditions are different enough that the diversity of species in the lake is greatly reduced from the nearby lagoon. The golden jellyfish, Mastigias cf. papua etpisoni, and possibly other species in the lake have evolved to be substantially different from their close relatives living in the nearby lagoons.

The millions of golden jellyfish that pack Palau’s Jellyfish Lake spend much of their lives on the move during a daily migration that follows the sun’s arc across the sky. Before sunrise, the jellies cluster along the saltwater lake’s western shore. Each morning around 6, when dawn brightens the eastern sky, they begin to swim toward the light. Pumping water through their bells, these jellyfish use a type of jet propulsion to follow the sunlight until they nearly reach the eastern shore—stopping just short of the shadows caused by lakeside trees.
Two species of scyphozoan jellyfish live in Jellyfish Lake, moon jellyfish and the golden jellyfish.
  1. The golden jellyfish are most closely related to the spotted jellyfish that inhabit the nearby lagoons. They are similar to the spotted jellyfish in that they derive part of their nutrition from symbiotic algae (Zooxanthella) that live in their tissues and part of their nutrition from captured zooplankton.
  2. The moon jellyfish were identified as Aurelia aurita by Hamner. Addition to the three species of Aurelia there are at least six other cryptic species in the Aurelia genus. Three of the cryptic species identified were from Palau. One of these cryptic species is common to four of Palau’s marine lakes with jellyfish populations including Jellyfish Lake.
Swimming in the lake is safe and permitted, but scuba diving is not as it may disturb the ecosystem. Also, you will want to stay away from the dangerous layer of hydrogen sulfide that hovers between 15 and 20 meters deep.

Here is some interesting sightseeing offers:

Jellyfish Lake is one of the truly unique and amazing wonders of the world. No visit to Palau is complete without a trip to Jellyfish Lake! Neco Marine is a 5 Star PADI award-winning National Geographic dive training facility. We offer daily dive tours, boat charters, fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling tours, as well as PADI courses and specialties. Come and experience Palau with our professional and experienced staff. All dive tours include lunch and water, and all trips are guided by one of our multilingual PADI instructors. Neco Marine features a large retail store, a specially designed dive training pool with showers and restrooms where you can relax after diving, and the popular Drop-off Bar and Grill where you can enjoy great burgers and fresh local fish. Free hotel transfers!

We offer an exciting full day of sightseeing, scenic cruises through the Rock islands, snorkeling, and exploring hidden marine lakes filled with fascinating natural wonders. A minimum of 4 passengers is required to ensure our Rock Island tour departures. We are happy to combine bookings to meet our required number of passengers. We also offer customized tours and departures for private charters and group bookings upon request.
Contact: Sam Scott, Founder & President




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