The Rock Islands in Palau & Infos about Jellyfish Lake (Palau)

Categories: Travel reports, Oceania, Palau

The beauty of Palau can be found not only underwater while diving, but also above the water there is a lot to admire. Especially the Rock Islands, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012, we really liked ❤

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The Rock Islands of Palau

In 2012, the 100-hectareRock Islands Southern Lagoonin Palau, with its 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin, was declared a World Heritage Site and World Heritage Site. The lagoon is home to a complex reef system with over 385 corals and a large number of different creatures – under and above water. The daily boat trips to our dive sites in the morning and afternoon through the Chelbacheb Islands,known as the Rock Islands, were really fantastic!

For about 40 minutes we could enjoy the sight of the overgrown limestone cliffslying in the turquoise lagoon glittering from the sun. Sometimes we just drove on the sidelines, sometimes in the middle of it. EWinfach beautifully ❤

Our video of the Rock Islands

Here is a short video with a few impressions of our journeys through the Rock Islands and the German Channel:

The famous Jellyfish Lake in Palau

Another reason why we chose Palau as a destination was the so-called Jellyfish Lake (Ongeim’l Tketau), which is located in the middle of the famous Rock Islands – on the Koror offshore island eil Malk. This jellyfish lake is one of the “must do’s” and main attractions of Palau. Snorkeling trips can be booked from Koror, but you also need a permit from the Koror State Department, which can be purchased beforehand for USD 50. There are up to 30 million jellyfish of the species Mastigias papua (shield jellyfish). The jellyfish are absolutely harmless. When the lake was separated from the sea about 12,000 years ago, the jellyfish completely lost their poison because they had no natural enemies in the almost isolated lake. Incidentally, scuba diving is not permitted in the lake, which is about 200 metres long, 20 metres wide and up to 30 metres deep. One can only move as a snorkeler in this extraordinary world.

Unfortunately, we were unable to visit Jellyfish Lake! Of course, we had this firmly planned in our travel planning – but since 2016 there are almost no jellyfish in this lake. The reason for this is not the large number of tourists, but a strong dry season and the weather phenomenon El Nino. Due to the few rains in Palau, which in 2016 were the lowest in 65 years, the salinity in the Jellyfish Lake has increased significantly. As a result, the mixing ratio in the lake between the salt water of the sea and the fresh water of the rain is no longer balanced, which resulted in a veritable jellyfish death. Another reason is a hot current from the Pacific that may have caused the extinction.

Here and here there are 2 interesting videos of the Jellyfish Lake on Palau, which we found on YouTube.

Meanwhile (as of May 2017)you can see again first jellyfish in the lake. The researchers are confident that the jellyfish could return completely. A similar mass extinction occurred at the end of the 1990s – but at that time some jellyfish polyps had survived at the bottom of the lake. Of course, we were totally disappointed that we had no way to see Jellyfish Lake. But we hope that the jellyfish population will fully recover and that we will perhaps get the opportunity to swim with the millions of jellyfish in the lake next time.

All travelogues from Palau

The islands of Palau, together with Blue Corner and the German Channel, are among the most beautiful and interesting dive sites in the world. And the fantastic pictures of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Rock Islands have certainly been seen by many on the Internet or in reports on TV. We spent a total of 12 days on Palau and got to know the island paradise both above and under water.
Reiseberichte Palau Palau – Travel Guide, Diving & Things to Do
Palau – Entry & Exit (Visa) at Koror Airport
Koror – The Palau Royal Resort on Malakal Island
Diving with the diving school Fish ‘n Fins
The Rock Islands in Palau & Infos about Jellyfish Lake
The Blue Corner – Diving with Sharks & Napoleon Lip Fish
The German Channel – Diving at the Manta Hotspot
Jake Seaplane – Diving at the Plane Wreck
Palau – Diving in the island paradise of Micronesia
Peleliu – Diving on Palau Island
Peleliu – Historical tour of the old battlefields in World War II
Palau – Our Self-Guided Day Tour of Babeldaob Island
Palau – Scenic Flight over the Rock Islands & Seventy Islands
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