are more than 80 saltwater lakes in Palau. These lakes of Palau
are one of the most fascinating features of the island. Each
lake has its own unique ecosystem, similar to the reefs, but
very different in their own respects. The saltwater lakes were
formed through a process of erosion in the limestone islands.
Water erosion created holes in the limestone, which the saltwater
seeped through to form the lakes. Some lakes have a good mixture
of rainwater and saltwater, while in others there is less current
flow. In these lakes the rainwater is lighter than the saltwater
and rests on top, forming two distinct layers. This type of
lake is called an estuary. Many lakes do not have any predators
in them and the animals have adapted to this. Many do not have
the same defense mechanisms that would be found on the same
species in the ocean. The simplest ecosystem can be found in
Spooky Lake. In Spooky Lake there are only two species of animals,
copepods and algae. Since there are no predators to feed on
the copepods in this ecosystem, this lake remains fairly peaceful.
Another lake is called Hot Water lake, named for the characteristics
of its water. On the surface the water is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit
and only fifteen feet below the water surface it can reach 100
degrees Fahrenheit. The largest lake in Palau is called the
Metukercheuas Uet lake. This oxygen rich lake measures over
a mile and a half long and 200 feet deep.