You Can Swim With Jellyfish (Without Getting Stung!) in This Pacific Island Lake

Jellyfish have more been a reason to get out of the water than to dive in, but you may want to visit this lake inhabited by the gelatinous animals. Jellyfish Lake, located on an island off the coast of Koror, Palau, is home to swarms of jellyfish that are safe to swim with. The saltwater lake was once connected to the ocean, and it's said that the rise of sea levels post-Ice Age trapped them in the area. The jellyfish do actually have stingers, but they're far too small to be felt by humans. In the many photos on Instagram, it looks like travelers have even been able to touch them safely.

But before you start booking your trip, you might have to wait until lake conditions improve. According to National Geographic, the jellyfish population — which used to be at an average of eight million — is now down to nearly half a million and decreasing by the day. Several possible factors including climate change, drought, and other changes in their ecosystem have been speculated. All hope is not lost, however. A National Geographic explorer-in-residence noted that the population was once able to recover in the late 1990s after El Niño, so it's not unlikely that it could do it again.

Keep your fingers crossed, and don't remove Jellyfish Lake from your bucket list just yet! Check out some photos ahead in the meantime.