Amazing Places

Jellyfish Lake Is Filled With Millions of Harmless Jellyfish

A lake bursting with jellyfish sounds dangerous. But in Jellyfish Lake on the Pacific island of Palau, you're at no risk among the millions of golden jellyfish. Yes, millions. Dive right in.

A Sting No More Harmful Than A Hug

You'll find Jellyfish Lake on a rocky, uninhabited island off the coast of Koror in Palau. The photos are surreal and a bit terrifying, but there's surprisingly not much to be afraid of here. There are no threats to the jellyfish in this saltwater lake, which is why there are upwards of 10 million there. And, lucky for them, these jellyfish have had no predators to protect themselves against while gliding through their watery jellyfish kingdom. Because they don't need to use their stinging cells, those zappers have shrunk so small that they can barely penetrate human skin. Great news for divers. (Psst — if you're somewhere with more harmful jellyfish and get stung, do not pee on that sting.)

How'd They All Get Here?

It kind of seems like someone purposely began breeding jellyfish in this lake to attract tourists, but that's not the case. This unique destination is all natural, baby. Jellyfish Lake is one of about 70 saltwater lakes on the South Pacific archipelago of Palau that were once connected to the ocean, but have been cut off at some point over the years. Unfortunately, in recent years, the jellyfish population in the famous lake has dwindled. But why? According to Palau Dive Adventures, "The problems seem to be an increase in salinity of the saltwater lake, due to the ocean warming weather pattern what is commonly known as El Niño. Palau locals also attested to the fact, that the drought of 2016 had been the worst of the past 65 years." But not all hope is lost! Scientists believe that if conditions improve, the jellyfish can certainly bounce back and repopulate their namesake home.

Welcome to Jellyfish Lake

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Millions of jellyfish reside in Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk island in Palau. 00:28

  2. The jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake survive on algae inside their bodies that turn sunlight into sugar. 00:41

  3. The jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake drift along the surface so the dawn sunlight feeds the symbiosis that keeps them alive. 01:55

Written by Joanie Faletto April 19, 2017

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