A team of scientists from our partner organization, Conservation International, boarded the Alucia to explore a marine lake nestled in the mountains of Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

Marine lakes are rare – they were once connected to the ocean, but became separated, forming their own ecosystem. Jellyfish Lake is around 12,000 years old, and its isolated location has rendered it an ideal incubator for jellyfish to thrive.

The unique environment has seen the evolution of many subspecies of jellyfish, and is a sort of natural laboratory that allows scientists to unlock the mysteries of marine evolution.

The lake was first spotted from the air. In order to physically access the remote lake, lead scientist Dr. Lisa Becking and her team had to carry their gear – including cameras and SCUBA equipment- up a hidden mountain path. After collecting samples and capturing footage on a Sony F55, the team trekked back to the Alucia with precious samples in tow. Once aboard the ship, Dr. Becking used the Alucia’s state of the art laboratory to analyze these unique specimen.

LOCATION: Raja Ampat, Indonesia
SCIENCE PARTNER: Conservation International