Take a Virtual Dip in Palau's Famous Jellyfish Lake

Kirstin Fawcett
Zachery Steen
Zachery Steen / Zachery Steen

Palau is a tiny western Pacific nation with more than 200 volcanic and coral islands. If you visit the remote, uninhabited Eil Malk in the Rock Islands, you’ll discover a snorkeling spot unlike any other in the world: Jellyfish Lake, a saltwater body of water filled with translucent—and stingless—golden jellyfish.

Scuba diving in the lake is forbidden, since deep underneath the lake’s surface sits a layer of water with dangerous hydrogen sulfide levels. But you can still snorkel in Jellyfish Lake, which is what videographer Zachery Steen did while filming this short movie with a GoPro camera:

Take a breathtaking virtual swim with Steen above—but if you want to see the famous lake’s wonders in person, Atlas Obscura points out, you better act fast. The golden jellyfish are disappearing at a rapid rate, and scientists suspect that climate change is to blame. The lake typically contains an average of 8 million jellies, but as of March 2016, the Coral Reef Research Foundation estimated, there were only about 600,000 left. You might want to book that plane ticket now.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

Banner image: tata_aka_T, Wikipedia//CC BY 2.0

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