The further you go towards the centre of the lake, the more jellyfish there are. (Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
The further you go towards the centre of the lake, the more jellyfish there are. (Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)

Kakaban and its lake with jellyfish that don't sting...

#Kakaban #Bornéo #Indonesia

  Borneo: Indonesia + Malaysia - July 2013

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


Borneo is adventure! I saw again the Indonesian island of Kakaban and its mysterious jellyfish lake. I even went back to swim there. The video evidence...

Return to Kakaban, four years later

2009-2013. Yes, this is the second time I've been to the island of kakabanin the archipelago of Derawanon the southeast coast of Borneoon the Indonesian side.

Four years separate the two photos below...

Kakaban in July 2009.
On the pontoon of Kakaban in July 2009.
Kakaban in July 2013.
On the Kakaban pontoon in July 2013.

In the game of the seven differences, we notice that a wooden gatehouse, painted in blue, has been built at the back, but above all that my Tribord lycra and my jersey are indestructible... 😂

I invite you to reread the article I wrote at the time on Kakaban:

Kakaban, the island of jellyfish [July 2009]

Four years later, the place has become very popular. Groups of Asian holidaymakers arrive every day, strapped into beautiful orange lifejackets - as many do not know how to swim.

A small entrance fee of IDR 10,000 (less than one euro) and the signing of a register are now required for access to the lake. It is also now forbidden to swim with flippers, so as not to risk cutting the famous jellyfish in half.

The island of Kakaban is in fact a vast lake of brackish water, surrounded by a coral ring protected by mangroves. (Borneo, Indonesia)
The island of Kakaban is in fact a vast lake of brackish water, surrounded by a coral ring protected by mangroves. (Borneo, Indonesia)
Kakaban's jellyfish lake is huge! (Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
Kakaban's jellyfish lake is huge! (Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)

Jellyfish that do not sting

It sounds incredible, but these jellyfish don't actually sting! Even though we know that, it always feels a bit strange, when we're swimming, to be in the middle of these gelatinous creatures, which we've learned to be so wary of...

The explanation would be the following: about 10,000 years ago, a geological phenomenon lifted the island, imprisoning marine animals, including jellyfish, inside a crater. The jellyfish, finding themselves without predators, eventually lost their stinging power over the millennia.

The proof in pictures, with the video below!

You will note, at the 15th second, the kindness and the good mood of one of our Indonesian dive guides, who did not want to let me carry on the wooden gangway, slippery in places, my heavy waterproof box, containing my 7D (see on page Equipment my equipment for underwater photography).

In any case, I had a lot of fun making a little film almost similar to the one I did, Four years ago.

UPDATE. It's better not to touch jellyfish like we did when we were swimming... They don't sting, of course. The danger is not for us, but for them. We are the ones who risk damaging them by force, if all the visitors who come in large numbers now have fun doing the same... Lake Kakaban is a fragile ecosystem and the exponential number of tourists coming to bathe in its waters could make it even more fragile. In short, I shouldn't have made this gesture or filmed it. Late awareness. Mea culpa. Above all, don't imitate us.

Kakaban lake side and sea side

There are other jellyfish lakes around the world. Those of Kakaban (Borneo, Indonesia) and Palau (Micronesia) are the best known.

In Indonesia, there are in particular Raja Ampat (West Papua) and also to the Togian Islands (Sulawesi).

The pontoon that gives access to the jellyfish lake of Kakaban. (Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
The pontoon that gives access to the jellyfish lake of Kakaban. (Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
A crown of mangroves surrounds the jellyfish lake. (Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
A crown of mangroves surrounds the jellyfish lake. (Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
The water of the jellyfish lake of Kakaban has a beautiful jade green colour, which is an invitation to swim. (Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
The water of the jellyfish lake of Kakaban has a beautiful jade green colour, which is an invitation to swim. (Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)

As for jellyfish, I will have the opportunity to dabble with them several times, between two sea-side dives, during this stay of 2013because the resort Derawan Dive Lodge takes us regularly to make bubbles around the island, along the coral reef, splendid (I'll show you that in a future post).

It's fascinating to watch them. Hundreds and thousands of them are pulsating in the green waters of the lake, like beating hearts.

The further you go towards the centre of the lake, the more jellyfish there are. (Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)
The further you go towards the centre of the lake, the more jellyfish there are. (Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2013)

Between dives, our small group lunch on the pontoon, before or after the jellyfish tour.

And then we take advantage of the view on the sea side... Magnificent!

😎

The Kakaban pontoon. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.
The Kakaban pontoon. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.
Kakaban Island. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.
Kakaban Island. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

👌

  Borneo: Indonesia + Malaysia - July 2013

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    1. @Guillaume: it's quite fascinating to see them evolve in this kind of greenish soup, to see them throb, usually upside down, it's really curious ... An amazing show, which we never tired.

  1. Aaargh! Even if they do not sting, I would not feel at all surrounded by hundreds of jellyfish like that.

    I already had a similar experience during my dives in Spain (Murcia - Mar Menor), in a small "inland sea", where jellyfish swarm in the summer with the warming of the water (which is then environ then the 28 - 30 °).
    They are not dangerous either, children even have fun playing football with jellyfish stranded on the beach ... But in the middle of these hundreds of jellyfish, I felt surrounded, and claustrophobic tendencies (that I do not did not know until then) have taken over! I did not enjoy the diving at all!

    Good if you could have fun!
    On the other hand, your photos of the sea are magnificent, it makes you dream! Curious to see the photos of the coral reef 😉

    1. @Amandine: Yes, this abundance of jellyfish that pops up everywhere in the greenish water can be a little scary, I guess pretty well ... As for the underwater photos, they arrive in the next post ...
      😉

  2. So now I've just learned something !!! Nice jellyfish ?? ha ! ha ! No one will ever believe me 😆
    Anyway, I still find the ride very nice!! 🙂

    1. @Brice: yes, it's nice to go diving in Kakaban. Not only for the dives themselves (you'll see in the next post), but also for the decompression interval, either on the beach or in the jellyfish lake ...
      8)

    1. @Chris: Yeah, I know. I wrote it in the article above ... Explaining that we were snorkeling in the jellyfish lake between two dives on the reef of Kakaban, and that I will tell it in the next post ... Patience, then!
      😉

  3. I did not know that jellyfish did not bite the Togians. I do not remember having seen masses of it, though. But seen like that, we are immediately more relaxed in front of these strange animals.

    1. @Laurent: That's not what I wrote. I did not say that jellyfish did not bite the Togians. I just pointed out that there was also a lake in the Togian (Sulawesi) lake similar to Kakaban Lake (Borneo), similarly containing jellyfish having lost their urticant power over a decade of thousands of years ... (Read more top, in the article.)

      But jellyfish that live in the sea, be it in the Togians, Kakaban or elsewhere, are usually stinging ... and I would not be relaxed at all if I was diving in the middle of a mass of jellyfish like that!
      🙄

    2. Ouppss, my eyes have indeed forked if I can say 🙁 I imagine the embarrassment if I go back and say to everyone, go ahead, it's guaranteed, here jellyfish do not sting, I read it on Petites Bulles D'ailleurs!

  4. 2009 - 2013 => The game of 7 differences:
    - the blue sentry box
    - the flippers
    - the little blonde who dyed her hair and took a little weight
    - his friend who has been tattooed everywhere
    - Corinne wearing glasses
    - his friend who has distanced himself
    - and who stung his watch!
    I'm good ❓

    In any case, thank you again for this zoo report that makes me want to visit this part of Borneo that I do not know

    NB: Incredible this story of Trobird lycra and wearable jersey => but what about the model who presents them? 😆 😆

    1. @Alimata:
      😀 😆 😆 😡 😛
      You have all good. You have won the jackpot to the game of 7 differences: a non-urticating jelly skin koteka, certified 100% hypoallergenic, not found in the lycra department stores In Donf la Forme ... You're expected to scroll, just after the girls in a swimsuit, on the Kakaban pontoon, at Borneo Fashion Week next summer ... Come and enjoy.
      😆

  5. Superb spot and beautiful jellyfish! As Tonton Photo said, the video has a rather surreal atmosphere. Thank you for this moment of magic, few people can imagine surrounded by jellyfish while remaining as calm as you ... even knowing that the years have made them lose their ability to sting.
    The experience looks amazing.

    1. @Laurent: the experience is indeed amazing, and many tourists come to paddle in this lake, including children ... It's an amazing place, but there is nothing scary.

  6. Not yet had the chance to dive in this famous jellyfish lake! That said, we did a very similar dive a short time ago ... in Marseille !!!! 😆 The south wind had brought all the jellyfish in a cove... quite incredible !

  7. Pretty fascinating diving with jellyfish. Always wanted to try since a report made by Nicolas Hulot. But I think it was not in the same corner!
    Still beautiful pictures!

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