There are many people afraid to go into the ocean. It contains all sorts of sea creatures that will do your harm if you are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. More than that the ocean is full of uncertainty. So much of the ocean has yet to be explored that there are likely many animals in the water that we don’t even know about. While the majority of people are afraid of sharks, they are of little danger to humans, with an average of six deaths per year over the last decade. That does not mean there is nothing to fear in the water. Jellyfish are far more dangerous, far more prevalent, and kill far more people. Jellyfish kill closer to 40 people per year and it would be an agonizing way to die. It is a pity that the jellyfish is so deadly. It is incredibly beautiful to watch and to swim with jellyfish would be incredible if you weren’t afraid of your life. The good news is, there is a way to do it.
Palau is a small archipelago close to both the Phillippines and Indonesia. It consists of over 500 very small islands and has a population of roughly 20,000 people. It is a paradise in Micronesia. One of the islands in Palau is called Eil Mul. On this small island if you walk around 100 feet away from the beach into the dense trees you will discover its best-kept secret, until now.
There is a small marine lake that is home to millions of jellyfish. The jellyfish are at the top of the food chain in the lake and because of its small proximity, they find it easy to get food. Because of this, they have evolved differently to the jellyfish we are used to in the oceans. The lake is home to two types of jellyfish, the moon jellyfish, and the golden jellyfish. Both of these jellyfish in the open water contain venom and will sting you, although it is reported to be one of the milder jellyfish in the world posing no threat to life and very little pain. Yet in the lake of Eil Mul, they contain no sting at all. They have evolved in such a way that their arms are now much shorter compared to those in the wider ocean.
Because the lake is closed off the jellyfish have nowhere to go. The numbers continue to grow in the lake making it a beautiful place to visit and if you are interested, an incredible place to dive. The bottom of the lake is toxic so the jellyfish usually stick to the top part of the lake, where they can bask in the sunlight and find plenty of food and oxygen. This means that if you want, you can go there and simply snorkel to be surrounded by jellyfish. No scuba gear required.
Before you book your trip make sure you do your research. The warming climates are not good for the jellyfish and the population appears to go up and down each year. In an El Nino year the climate tends to warm too much and is disastrous for the jellyfish population in the lake. They can’t escape the heat by going to the bottom of the lake because it is toxic. While the population was decimated in 1998 it appears to have returned to huge numbers in recent years. There are many tour guides that operate trips to the Rock Islands where Eil Mul is located who will also include a snorkel stop at jellyfish lake. Look into your visit today.