Amazing Jellyfish Lake in the Pacific

The Jellyfish lake is a unique place on our planet where you can swim among the 2 million jellyfish, with no fear of them bites! Medusae lake attracts thousands of tourists who want to see this wonder of the world.

The Jellyfish lake is located in the archipelago of the Rocky island, in the Republic of Palau. Palau is an archipelago in the Pacific ocean, located 800 km East of the Philippines and North of Indonesia. Palau consists of more than 300 Islands, but only 9 of them inhabited. The Jellyfish lake is located on the island ESA-ICFA, more than 20 kilometers to the Southeast from the largest city Korora.

The size of the lake is approximately 460 metres in length and 160 meters in width, the area of the mirror 0,057 km2. Its shape resembles a bowl, the average depth is 30 metres and the deepest point is about 50 meters. The lake is a slightly salty body of water which is separated from the ocean by a strip of land about 200 meters. Despite its isolation, it is connected with the ocean through tunnels and cracks in the limestone ancient reef.

This is a colorful place with an unusual history. The Jellyfish lake appeared as a result of the movement of the earth’s crust about 12,000 years ago. After the collision of two tectonic plates on the border with ocean, a depression formed separated from the ocean. So there was a half-mile marine lake. Through pores in limestone in the formed cavity of the leaked is not only the salt water, but jellyfish, as well as some small marine life.

Large marine animals, of course, could not get there, so jellyfish were closed and favorable for the life and reproduction space without natural enemies. So, during the existence of the lake in the absence of many natural enemies jellyfish multiplied about 2 million individuals.

Unlike ocean jellyfish that have not been modified over 2 million years, these jellyfish evolved into a new species degraded many times. When they became too many, they stopped short of zooplankton in lake waters. However, the jellyfish have adapted to this by going to a different type of food. Jellyfish began to provide themselves with nutrients and energy through photosynthesis, they began to grow in your body symbiotic green algae. And since they ceased to be predators, their tentacles have lost the ability to sting. Stinging cells on the jellyfish tentacles that can cause severe burns to the bathers, gradually atrophied. Thus, jellyfish this extraordinary lake today are absolutely harmless and are not dangerous for humans and other living beings. When moving in this “soup jellyfish” skin does not feel the burning. Here, you can safely swim surrounded by a variety of jellyfish, turning water lake in the wonderful fantasy world! It attracts many tourists and divers.

The jellyfish lake (in English Jellyfish Lake), or “Ongeim’l Tketau”as it is called in Palau is one of the 70 marine lakes located in the southern part of the archipelago of Palau. The jellyfish lake is one of at least ten lakes in Palau, which contain large settlements of gold and moon jellyfish. On the island ESA-ICFA is still about ten smaller lakes with jellyfish, but diving is allowed only Jellyfish Lake, the largest of them.

Medusae the lake is divided into two layers – the upper, with a high content of oxygen in the water and bottom – anoxic layer. The division of the waters of the lake on the layers is permanent, seasonal mixing water is not happening. The upper layer from the surface to the depth of 15 meters), saturated with oxygen, inhabited by a variety of microorganisms, jellyfish, copepods, and several species of fish. Lower anoxic layer (the depth is about 15 meters and up to the bottom) contains high concentrations of phosphate and ammonia than dangerous for divers who can get poisoning through the skin. Here is able to survive only bacteria, and then only in the first three metres. So deep water diving at Lake Jellyfish only snorkeling – scuba mask and snorkel, without immersion.

The Jellyfish lake is one of about 200 meromictic lakes in the world. It reservoirs in which there is almost no water circulation between layers of different mineralization, causing the water of the lower layer of more mineralized and denser than in the upper layer. The largest meromictic water body is the Black sea.

Jellyfish in the lake of different sizes: the smallest of 2 centimeters, the most large – sized ball.

The lake is home to 2 species scyphoid jellyfish – gold (lat. Mastigias papua) and lunar (lat. Aurelia sp.). During the day they do on the lake vertical and horizontal movement.

In Madonna lake, two species scyphoid jellyfish

Golden jellyfish may refer to mind Mastigias papua, which inhabits also nearby lagoon. However, these jellyfish are different from animals that live in the open ocean. They lost liver spots on my body, and almost lost stinging cells of tentacles and appendages tentacles surrounding mouth. Transparent jelly-like body Golden jellyfish has Golden color, and by its edges are small tentacles. The nutrients they receive from symbiotic algae-zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium)who live in their cells and eat the products of metabolism of jellyfish. But for comfortable existence algae need light. Therefore, jellyfish have to make daily horizontal and vertical migration after the sun. During the day they swim near the surface of the lake, where a lot of sun, while zooxanthellae process for them from the non-organic sugar and proteins. Jellyfish are moving, rotating counterclockwise when swim near the surface, obviously, in order to provide sufficient lighting for symbiotic algae in their bodies. Through this gesture all parts of the body jellyfish receive the necessary lighting. The population of jellyfish Mastigias so huge that closer to the middle of the lake jellyfish form a solid wall. It is interesting to watch as they slowly along the way from the sun to the surface of the lake. When night falls, the Golden jellyfish down to the bottom to feed the zooxanthellae that require phosphates and nitrates – raw material for photosynthesis in organic matter. Thus, the Golden jellyfish (mastigias) has evolved from predators in “vegetarians”.

Moon jellyfish was first identified as Aurelia aurita. But since 1981 were conducted genetic studies of many instances Aureli of different habitats. The results showed that the generation of Aurelia includes not 3, but at least 6 more unknown species, 3 of which were found in Palau. At night the moon jellyfish rise to the surface of the lake, probably, to power copepods, which constitute a significant part of their diet in the lake.

Diving enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world come here to swim in this lake, enjoy the magnificent view under the water and get the unusual impressions from communication with the inhabitants of the lake. After all, it is only necessary to plunge, and before diver opens a stunner – thousands of little Golden jellyfish surround it from all sides. This diving will be remembered for a lifetime!

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