It was 2005. I was watching Survivor, my favourite reality TV show. The season was filmed in Palau and for the reward on one of the challenges, the contestants got to swim in a lake with jellyfish.
I knew I had to jump into that same lake someday.
Years went by and my dream of swimming with the jellyfish in Palau grew stronger and stronger. As I found out that Palau is also one of the best places in the world to dive, I had to first be a certified diver.
As I later found out that most dives in Palau were deep dives, I then realised I had to first be a certified Advanced Open Water diver.
Years passed. Finally in April 2014, I reached Palau, the ends of the earth.
Our flights from Zurich via Doha and Seoul cost us 2000USD per person.
When we first jumped into the lake, we couldn’t see anything. But as we slowly approached the middle of the lake, they started to appear. There are more than 10 million jellyfish in this lake.
They were beautiful. Some were small. Some were quite big. They’d clash and bump into each other.
We were told to be careful and to stay horizontal all the time as any vertical movements with our fin would easily kill them.
The reason these golden jellyfish in this lake have minimal stings is because they have no natural predators that would eat them. As there is nothing else for them to consume, they derive part of their nutrition from symbiotic algae that live in their tissues. This means that when the sun is out, the jellyfish will rise to the surface of the lake and they would go deeper at night.
Unfortunately I lost our camera and my iphone later on in the trip in Macau. All I have left of this amazing experience was a video I took from the camera of myself touching one of the jellyfish.