Coral reefs take a long time to grow and as they grew over a period of time, geological forces pushed some of these out of the water. They can still be seen today. It is quite a wonder to behold; being pushed up out of the water did not stop the coral reefs for long, because new colonies were soon started that repopulated the underwater slopes.
Because we people have the tendency to associate things that we do not quite understand with things from our everyday lives, when a diver swims across the reef he will see gardens of gorgeous wild flowers, and trees and bushes that come in almost every color; it is enough to take a person's breath away.
Something else that you can find here is the thing that used to be shown as a real sea monster. It is the giant clams that can be three feet long. Old movies used to show these clams off as monsters that would grab diver's feet and hold them under the water in an attempt to drown them.
This is not true, however, because these giants eat nothing more than plankton and really do not care about the divers at all. Another curiosity is the red and green brittle stars, which have arms that can break off at the slightest bit of pressure, which in turn is used as a protection against predators.
Something besides the reef that is worth visiting is the Jelly-fish lake. Visibility is poor and the water is green and quite warm , but you have the opportunity to swim with jellyfish without the fear of being stung. They do not have any stingers, because there are no predators in the lake that are interested in them.
Not everything is bright and cheerful at the islands of Palau. Live reef fisheries have moved into the area and this is where foreign fishermen come in. They select a target fish and then totally exhaust the fish supply in that particular area.
According to researchers, whole populations of fish have been wiped out because of this thoughtless act. This not only makes an impact on the underwater food chain, but it also deprives the native fishermen of the one thing that enabled them to make a livelihood for themselves and their family.
In only a matter of months, the whole breeding population of the target species can be wiped out, and that particular species takes a very long time to repopulate, if they at all manage. This can be devastating to the coral reefs, to Palau, and to the people living there.