Jellyfish Lake on Eil Milk Island of the Western Pacific country of Palau has commonly been known as a home for golden jellyfish. However, due to climate change, the lake’s unique ecosystem is at risk, harming the fascinating creatures. Some scientists are hopeful about the situation, believing that the lake’s conditions will eventually approve and a new generation of the species will blossom. However, other experts disagree.
The Lake hosts coral reefs and high diversity, and is known for its natural beauty and wondrous environment. Many snorkelers visit the lake to admire the creatures. However, due to high concentration of toxic hydrogen sulfide, scuba diving is not permitted. For Years the Lake has been an attraction to adventurous scuba divers who seek to admire the unique creatures.
The lake’s population of Jellyfish has decreased from eight million to six hundred thousand after being recorded in March. The population has continued to decrease since then. Over the past few weeks, tourists haven’t found any adult species in the lake. Could this be a sign of a Jelly-less future for a lake known for its Jellyfish?
After scientists have examined the scenario, they haven’t come to any conclusions on why the creatures have disappeared. Koror State Governor Yositaka Adachi claims that the situation was due to draught from ocean warming effects of El Niño. He noted that rainfall in that area in the past four months has been the lowest it has ever been in 65 years.
Some possible solutions to the issue that the Scientists found surround the creature’s migration. The Golden Jellyfish are known for following a daily migration through the lake. However, it’s unclear when that migration may return to the region. Similar scenarios have been recorded in the past, such as the crash of Jellyfish in the lake in the late 1990s. Fortunately, they recovered due to surviving polyps. Researchers are hopeful that this time there will be enough polyps to save the population.
- Howard, Brian Clark. The Famous Jellyfish Lake Is Running Out Of Jellyfish. National Geographic. May 4, 2016.