Jellyfish Lake (Palau) Dive Site

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This dive site although technically not a dive site, is perhaps the most famous of all the marine sites in Palau, and for good reason. It is one of the most distinctive sites in the world and allows swimmers to immerse themselves into a lake filled with Jellyfish. Whilst scuba diving has been banned, it is possible to swim and snorkel in the lake. Scuba was banned, as it was thought that it might damage the ecosystem.

The clear, calm waters are found within an isolated saltwater lake that used to be connected to the ocean. There are many of these in the Pacific region, and as they have become cut off from the ocean, they have become niche ecosystems usually hosting unique marine life. In this lake, there are thought to be millions of golden jellyfish that have benefited from this cut off environment. It is thought that the Jellyfish became trapped in this lake shortly after the Ice Age and this has meant that they have an ecosystem to themselves without the existence of any predators. They feast on the algae growing in the lake, reproduce, and thrive without any outside interference.

The Jellyfish, move across the lake in a horizontal line following the sun. The algae growth is promoted by the sunlight and so the Jellyfish are following their food source around the lake. As the Jellyfish do not need to have any stingers to protect themselves against predators, they are completely harmless. Swimmers and snorkelers need to ensure though that they do not go below 10 metres as from around 15 metres there is a dangerous layer of hydrogen sulphide in the lake.

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