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The time capsules of Palau


Jellyfish Lake, Palau

So is it the 20 million or so Golden Jellyfish serenely pulsating through an emerald tranquility that draws so many people? Yes, probably it is. Phenomenal stuff I think you’d agree. What many people don’t realize is the knife edge of existence that these Jellyfish live on.

Try this experiment. Take one 3/4 full bucket of dirty water. Leave it to sit somewhere sheltered out of reach for 1 week. If it’s left undisturbed the sediment settles. What you get is your own miniature version of a Meromictic Lake. Big whoop you might say but I am going somewhere with this.

So instead of having one three quarters of a bucket, you now have a volume of approximately 94 million buckets and leave it to settle within an island of the equatorial Western Pacific for 12,000 years or so.

A Meromictic Lake such as Palau’s Jellyfish Lake is one that does not get mixed as a typical lake does. Turbulence very rarely exists that disturbs the sediment, and wind is causing minimal ripples on it’s surface. Given enough time these lakes develop layers within that suspension of dirt.

Denser particles fall faster than less dense ones. Chemicals even separate and react with each other within their layers. Distinct biological and chemical boundaries develop. Meromictic Lakes are extremely rare, Meromictic Lakes that have 20 million jellyfish living in them are rarer still. So how would you survive in a big bucket of dirty water as a jellyfish? These jellyfish have done it and done it in an incredible way.

They have living within their bodies algae, that like other