MASTIGIAS JELLYFISH, Jellyfish Lake, Palau, Micronesia ©David Doubilet
Jellyfish Lake is a marine lake located on Eil Malk island in Palau. Eil Malk is part of the Rock Islands, a group of small, rocky, mostly uninhabited islands in Palau’s Southern Lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu. There are about 70 other marine lakes located throughout the Rock Islands. Jellyfish Lake is one of Palau’s most famous snorkeling only sites. It is notable for the millions of golden jellyfish which migrate horizontally across the lake daily.
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.
Scuba diving by tourists in the lake is not allowed. Two reasons are put forward for this:
- The bubbles from scuba tanks can harm the jellyfish if they collect beneath their bell.
- An anoxic layer that begins at about 15 meters contains high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide which can be absorbed through the skin of a diver and can lead to death.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jellyfish_Lake
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