There's An Isolated Lake Where You Can Swim With Jellyfish That Won't Sting You
Jellyfish have long caused people to jump out of the water rather than dive in, but one lake near the Philippines is changing that.
On the tiny rock island of Koror, in the Micronesian island country of Palau, there is a lake that is home to thousands of friendly jellyfish that are safe to swim with. Which means, they won't sting you.
How, you ask?
The saltwater lake - now completely isolated - was once connected to the ocean, but after a rise in sea levels post-Ice Age around 12,000 years ago, the jellyfish became trapped. Not needing to fight off predators, they've since lost their stingers, or have grown them so small that humans cannot feel them.
With no natural predators, the jellyfish flourished - at one point having numbers of up to eight million.
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And now the lake has become a tourist attraction.
Photos on Instagram show tourists not only swimming with the golden jellyfish - which cannot be found anywhere else in the world - but touching them too.
Swimming in the lake is completely safe and permitted, but scuba diving is prohibited as it may disturb the ecosystem.
During the day, you'll see the jellyfish migrate from one side of the lake to the other to follow the path of the sun.
But you may want to hold out on booking your trip ASAP. According to National Geographic, the jellyfish population - which was one an average of eight million - was down to around 600,000 in 2016 and decreasing every day.
The reason? Climate change, drought and the warming effects of El Niño. But all hope is not lost. The population was once able to recover in the 1990s after El Niño, so it's possible that the jellies could bounce back again.
Conditions also may have improved since the article's 2016 publishing.
So if you're looking to re-create that famous Finding Nemo scene - without the stinging, of course - you may want to start planning your next holiday from work.