“Sting? What Sting?” This Jellyfish Lake is a Favorite Snorkeling Spot in Palau

May 27, 2014

A private party is happening in one of Palau’s lakes and you’re invited. Who are you partying with? Well, just with millions of jellyfish that’s been living here for thousands of years. But before you get all itchy from hearing the word “jellyfish” and question the safety issues in this lake, don’t you find it strange that there are jellyfish living here in the first place?

Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, also known as Ongeim’l Tketau in Palauan, is connected to the sea via tunnels and fissures in the limestone that encase it. However it is isolated and the jellyfish in here aren’t the same as its relatives that swim in the outside waters. The lake is 30 meters deep and is believed to be 12,000 years old.

Photo by: DivePhoto via Flickr

Photo by: DivePhoto via Flickr

Photo by: badrinat via Flickr

Photo by: badrinat via Flickr

Photo by: Mathew Trainor via Flickr

Photo by: Mathew Trainor via Flickr

There are two kinds of jellyfish living in the lake: the golden jellyfish and the moon jellyfish. The golden jellyfish, which is the most populous and the first you’ll see visible from the surface of the lake, is related to the spotted jellyfish but evolution made it lose its spots and clubs. The fragile moon jellyfish on the other hand, can be seen in the deeper waters of the lake.

Photo by: Chenography via Flickr

Photo by: Chenography via Flickr

Photo by: Marissa Glesener via Flickr

Photo by: Marissa Glesener via Flickr

Photo by: Marissa Glesener via Flickr

Photo by: Marissa Glesener via Flickr

Snorkeling is only allowed and scuba diving is banned because the air bubbles the divers exhale can be trapped inside the delicate tissue pockets of the jellyfish which can kill them. Divers are also prohibited to go to the bottom of the lake because of the hydrogen sulfide at the bottom layer which is deadly, so don’t you dare go extreme.

Photo by: Super Jolly via Flickr

Photo by: Super Jolly via Flickr

Photo by: Pacific1117 via Flickr

Photo by: Pacific1117 via Flickr

Photo by: foxystranger via Panoramio

Photo by: foxystranger via Panoramio

Photo via: Palau Bound

Photo via: Palau Bound

Photo by: DivePhoto via Flickr

Photo by: DivePhoto via Flickr

If you’re worried about jellyfish stings, the jellyfish in this lake do still have their stinging cells but these are not powerful enough to cause any harm. It is undetectable unless one kisses you on your lips – that’ll be a problem.

Source: Ark in Space, Palau Bound

Featured Image: Marissa Glesener via Flickr