Uet era Ngermeuangel
Although Jellyfish Lake is the most famous lake with jellyfish in Palau, it is not the only one. In more than 20 marine lakes (small saltwater lakes connected to the sea through limestone fissures) of Palau there is living jellyfish. Five of these lakes have been studied more – the mentioned Jellyfish Lake, Clear Lake, Goby Lake, Uet era Ongael and Uet era Ngermeuangel.
Map of the site
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Testing ground for evolution
Each of the marine lakes of Palau has a specific set of species occasionally trapped in lakes by the receding sea 15 – 10 thousand years ago. Some lakes have steeper banks, some are elongated in the east-west direction, some in a south-north direction. Every such detail leads to different circumstances and consequently – different new species and subspecies of animals.
Some marine lakes of Palau are made even more exotic by the fact that they are meromictic – below the upper layer of marine water there is a layer of "dead", anoxic water separated by a layer of floating microorganisms, including a purple bacteria.
Such unusual monuments of nature serve as excellent "testing ground" for studies of evolution. Thus lately several scientists have made interesting treatises about these lakes. Lucky them (scientists!) – making science in beautiful Palau…
Jellyfish of president Remeliik
Ngermeuangel Lake is a deep meromictic marine lake, some 12 – 15 thousand years old. The area of the lake is approximately 4.3 ha, maximum length roughly 290 meters, depth up to 40 meters. This is the deepest meromictic lake in Palau and also the anoxic layer is the deepest one – it starts at 18 meters depth below the approximately 1-meter thick layer of purple-sulfur bacteria.
This marine lake has a comparatively larger layer of liveable marine water. Most likely this is the reason why in this lake there is a comparatively large population of endemic subspecies of golden jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua remeliiki. It has been named after the Palauan president Haruo Remeliik.
Possibly the comparatively larger depth (or longer adaptation time to live in the lake) also saved jellyfish during the heat of the El Niño/La Niña event in the late 1990s – while in Jellyfish Lake jellyfish disappeared (happily only for a while), here the population was less affected than in any other researched jellyfish lake.
Golden jellyfish in this lake have a similar daily migration pattern to that of Jellyfish Lake – but here jellyfish do not avoid the shadow. Golden jellyfish of Remeliik is small – diameter does not exceed 14 cm.
This lake contains also another species of jellyfish – Aurelia sp. This jellyfish has a well-pronounced habit of vertical migration, possibly following the movements of their prey – copepods.
Since the late 1990s Uet era Ngermeuangel is included in some tourist routes, although it is less popular than famous Jellyfish Lake.
- Coral Reef Research Foundation, Marine Lakes Research Accessed 08.02.10.
- Jellyfish swarms, tourists, and the Christ-child, Mike N. Dawson, Laura E. Martin, Lolita K. Penland. Hydrobiologia 451: 131-144, 2001. Accessed 08.02.10.
- Five new subspecies of Mastigias (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae: Mastiigidae) from marine lakes, Palau, Micronesia, Michael N. Dawson. Journal of Marine Biological Association, U.K. 2005., 85., 679-694. Accessed 08.02.10.
Although Palau is small in size, it offers a surprising diversity of interesting monuments. Several of these monuments are true wonders and there are several unresolved mysteries related to Palau.
There are many factors that can make lakes, sea bays, or rivers unusual. Some lakes have unusual chemical properties and even do not contain water at all – such as lava lakes. Others may have unusual animals living in them or… legends about such animals.
The sight of the gathering of countless penguins or antelopes is very fascinating and intriguing. There are locations in the world where such gatherings are permanent or regular, and: if there is a location with intriguing sights – this is landmark!
Author Annette White has made a second career out of writing her bucket list… and then crossing things off of it! One day this owner of a Michelin-recommended restaurant in Northern California decided to live her dream.
Palau is one of the world’s underwater wonders and Yap is both the most culturally intact isle in the region and a worthy diving and snorkeling mecca in its own right. This guide is new for 2016, with new images, more information on the outer atolls, and updated dive site information.