Golden Jellyfish of Palau

March 19, 2015

Jellyfish 1 (3)

Jellyfish 3 (3)

Photographer: Dave Lynch
Summary Author: Dave Lynch

You’ve never seen so many jellyfish! So numerous in places that they completely hide the bottom. And they’re harmless. These are called Golden Jellyfish but their species is uncertain, as they resemble many jellyfish in Palau, most notably the Spotted Jellyfish (Mastigias papua). Some scientists call them Mastigias medusa. They’re found in Jellyfish Lake, a brackish spring-fed body of water connected to the ocean through Eil Malk island’s porous limestone. As you swim among them, their soft bells momentarily bump gently against your skin, a strange sensation. The jellyfish are very sensitive to water temperature and during the 1998 La Nina event, they were completely absent from the lake. Photo taken January 23, 2015.