13 Million Jellies

This post is dedicated to the ~13 million  jellyfish that inhabit Palau's world famous Jellyfish Lake. Watch the video in full screen for maximum euphoria!

Ongeim’l Tketau (OTM), also known as Jellyfish Lake, is a 30 m deep basin filled with seawater indirectly connected by cracks and crevices to the lagoon. There are actually two species of jellyfish that live here: the golden jellyfish, Mastigias papua etpisoni, and the less common moon jelly, Aurelia sp.

Jellyfish lake's exact number of inhabitants fluctuates quite a bit, and that's why Patrick Colin and his team at the Coral Reef Research Foundation quantitatively monitor the population of these jellyfish each month.

These incredible creatures have a symbiotic relationship with microscopic algae, called zooxanthellae, which is also found in many corals. These microscopic animals generate energy through photosynthesis, providing its host jellyfish with energy. In return, the jellyfish gives these zooxanthellae a place to live.

These anemones prey upon jellyfish that drift to the end of the pond

These anemones prey upon jellyfish that drift to the end of the pond

Native anemones, Entacmaea medusivora, prey on the golden jellies and can eat jellyfish many times their size. However, in this lake also exists a similar non-native species of anemones that have the ability to displace the native ones, potentially becoming an invasive species.