Swimming with Stingless Jellyfish in Palau

Stingless jellyfish?

Yep. This animal does exist! And there are only two places in the world known as its habitat: Palau, Micronesia and Kakaban Island, Indonesia 🙂

The scientific name of the stingless jellyfish is Ornate Cassiopeia. They live in a close environment, thus, they do not have any threats from vertebrates. That’s why they don’t need to stings to protect themselves :).

On my trip in Palau, Micronesia, I spent a good half of day swimming with these cute stingless jellyfish at Stingless Jellyfish Lake, located at the Fifth Island, part of the Rock Islands. To reach the lake, we had to go by boat and walked in a forest on a dirt and rocky path. The path could be slippery, so be careful! But, what we experienced after walking up and down the dirt path was something that I would remember for the rest of my life…

I recorded some videos of the stingless jellyfish. This one is for you 🙂

Once you’re there, you wouldn’t want to leave the place. It’s so magical! Swimming in a green lake, surrounded by beautiful nature in the middle of nowhere… it was soooo peaceful! And… having to witness the stingless jellyfish lake that only live in two places in the world was indeed something special and memorable… 🙂

It was amazing to see thousands of jellyfish swimming all around me. Yet, they’re not harmful! Ohhh… sooo cute!!! I loved it especially when I did ‘free-dives’ — in which, I took a deep breath, hold my breath, and dove a few meters down. Suddenly, I felt like I was in a dream world. So surreal. Everything was green, with jellyfish dancing all around me…. It was indeed like in a fantasy world and I was there ‘free-diving’ happily like a five year old girl…

However, when I was observing the jellyfish, I spotted one or two of them heavily injured. One of them didn’t even have a full body! And the other only had half body left! Ouch. I wonder why?

Then, I noticed that tourists are allowed to use fins when swimming in this lake. I don’t think it’s a good idea, since these jellyfish are very fragile. If we snorkel and use fins, it would be hard to control our fins as there were thousands of jellyfish all around. It would be impossible not to swipe them with our fins!

So, I think, putting a sign: “Please Do Not Touch The Jellyfish” is not enough. The authority should also consider banning tourists from using fins in order to protect the stingless jellyfish.
I could imagine if the number of tourists going to this lake were increased, how many stingless jellyfish got kicked from the snorkelers’ fins per day?


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