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  • The Curious Traveler

Palau’s Jellyfish Lake

One of the highlights of our Palau: Oceania Odyssey tour is a visit to the secret and surreal Jellyfish Lake, where we encounter thousands of non-stinging jellyfish.

Their existence in Jellyfish Lake is a fascinating evolutionary story, tracing its origin back 35 million years to the time the Rock Islands were first created as a result of colliding tectonic plates. Over time, erosive forces slowly ate away at the exposed sea bed, carving away what are now hundreds of islands, with pockets cutting holes in the limestone. These pockets continued to carve deeper and deeper into the rock until they reached through to the salt water. Throughout geologic time, the sea water continued to percolate through the porous limestone to create a number of salt water lakes. With the sea water came microscopic organisms, including a particular variety of jellyfish. Trapped inside the lake, with little plankton to prey upon, the jellyfish were forced to evolve away from their predatory ways, to an existence based on photosynthesis. In the end, the stingers became extraneous and were lost.

As witnesses to this evolutionary phenomenon, guests on Boundless Journeys’ Palau tour float gently in the water of the lake, equipped with masks and snorkels. It is incredible to feel the delicate bodies of the jellyfish swimming against you — truly a special experience; one you will only find in Palau!

Click here to see a video from recent Boundless Journeys’ guests on a Private Collection tour to Palau.

About Boundless Journeys

Boundless Journeys is an award-winning small group adventure tour operator, selected as one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by National Geographic ADVENTURE, February 2009; and a “World’s Best” tour operator by Travel + Leisure, August 2009.

With a diverse collection of locally guided, small group itineraries and Private Collection trips around the world, Boundless Journeys offers “The World’s Great Adventures.” The adventure trips for 2-16 guests are active, ranging from leisurely cultural explorations and wildlife safaris to challenging trekking in remote regions ― with plenty of easy to moderate walking and sea kayaking in between.

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