first_img Noodle-Fingered Robot Helps Study Marine AnimalsWatch: Playful Dolphin ‘Juggles’ Jellyfish in Denmark Stay on target Adventurous travelers and brave swimmers can put Palau’s famous Jellyfish Lake back on their 2019 bucket list. The lake, which has been closed for two years due to the diminishing golden jellyfish population, has re-opened.According to marine officials, around 600,000 new golden jellyfish have appeared in the lake.“Ongoing monitoring conducted by the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) indicated that the jellyfish populations were now rebounding after the declines that were a result of the drought conditions experienced throughout Palau in 2016,” said a government statement issued by Palau’s Koror State announcing the lake’s reopening.Snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake, located in Palau. (Photo Credit: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)Government officials announced the reopening of the Ongeim’l Tketau Jellyfish Lake in December, paving the way for tourists to swim and snorkel among jellyfish again.The lake was once home to 10 million to 20 million non-stinging golden jellyfish, according to CNN.But experts said El Niño caused the jellyfish population to shrink from 2006, as the rise in water temperature led to a decrease in algae growth, a major food source for jellyfish.The lake was once home to 10 to 20 million non-stinging golden jellyfish, hitting 30 million at its peak in 2005. (Photo Credit: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)The lake was officially shut in May 2017, though tour operators and local villagers took the initiative to close it in 2016, Channel News Asia reported.According to a survey taken in December 2018, there are now around 630,000 golden jellyfish in the lake. While the number is not anywhere near the lake’s prime years, scientists are optimistic.“Based on the number from December 2018, the population has not fully recovered yet; however, with this good windy and rainy weather, we should expect to see changes in the population and decrease in the water temperature,” Gerda Ucharm, research biologist with the CRRF, told CNN. “If the weather conditions continue to be normal, then we are optimistic that the number should keep going up.”Jellyfish Lake is 1,312 feet long and 98 feet deep. Both golden jellyfish and moon jellyfish live here, and both are safe to swim with which has made the lake a popular tourist destination over the past decade.Though swimming and snorkeling is permitted, scuba diving is prohibited as the bottom water layer is filled with poisonous dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas, according to CRRF.Aerial view of Palau’s Rock Islands, where Jellyfish Lake is located. (Photo Credit: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images)While Palau is home to over 50 different marine lakes, Jellyfish Lake is the only one that is currently open to visitors, with all other lakes preserved to ensure conservation.The lake is now officially open, but officials will be monitoring the area to ensure its protection. Those wishing to visit the lake will need to go through a certified tour guide and sign an eco-pledge.The Pledge comes with a mandatory viewing of an in-flight video that educates all incoming visitors about their responsibility to be environmentally responsible, along with a checklist of dos and don’ts that is distributed upon arrival.More on Treated for Bluebottle Stings in AustraliaThis $800 Robot Suitcase Will Follow You Around in AirportsNew Carnival Cruise Ship Will Have ‘First Roller Coaster at Sea’last_img