The Republic of Palau known as the Palau Islands is an Archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean; about 800 kilometers off Philippines. It is a young nation with an area of 459 sq km and a population of 217,000.
German, Spanish and Japanese rules
Palau Islands image courtesy: janesoceania.com
The Japanese also had a 30 year spell from 1914 to 1944. In the World War II Allied forces with American army had to engage in severe battle to end the Japanese occupation. Remnants of Japanese occupation and the forceful changes they have made in the civil laws are still visible even now along with the presence of Japanese language.
Each of these islands has something to offer for explorers, researchers as well as sight seeing tourists. The
Corals are invertebrates which live in colonies comprising of millions of animals; they lead a stationary life like plants, in ancient times people took them for plants. They secrete a calcium compound exoskeleton that covers its body. Even after the animal’s (the polyp’s) death these skeletons remain intact and act as foundation for the future polyps to live. Thus after several generations these skeletons accumulate and give birth to big mountain like structures called coral reef. The Great Barrier Reef off Australia, the Belize Barrier Reef are coral reefs which are well known ones; The Great Barrier Reef is thousands of kilometers long the longest in the world.
Though not as big as the
The water world
Fish like the blue-headed wrasses, the black masked emperor angel fish, yellow butterfly fish, the green-red brittle stacs that has spikes, the mango sized puffer that can take in water and expand like a balloon; if irritated. Trunk fish with body like a tough trunk offer protection from predators. Then there are the giant clams with body measuring two three feet. The brittle stars are colored blue or red are invertebrates which prefer to stay in crevices offered by the corals. In day times they prefer to stay ‘indoors’ as after sunset they have to be active, life is quite a happy thing for them just get out and eat planktons that is all! The crocodile fish is a look alike of the reptile is as smart as the crocodile, expert in hunting by stealth. Water melon cuttlefish changes not only shape but also color.
Of the many islands
The Sting ray is one example which doesn’t know the art of stinging! The reason for such pleasant evolutions is said to be that as its predators (mainly turtles) got cut off from the lake they did not have to use these stings for so many generations; thus these stings got atrophied due to disuse. What a surprise for the swimmers in the lake they can swim free in the lake without the fear of getting stung!
Blue Corner, is a part of the island system that is very famous for its visual appeal, here the stream is swift and fish move fast. The corals of this part are almost dead and remain as white patches devoid of their natural beauty and color. Manta and the Eagle Rays are large fish with big ‘wings’ they are common sights in the Blue Corner. Otherwise the currents will sweep him to the open ocean.
As this part is open to the ocean predators like jack fish and sharks occasionally pay a visit to these waters and get a taste of the plankton eaters of this locality; what to say about these fire ants of the paradise!
Each culture has its own legends to cherish; in fact these packs of legends add spice to the routine day today life that has nothing much to cheer about.
The Chieftain of the tribe recognized the fact that Ochaeo was a god and he built a shrine on the spot dedicated to Ochaeo and his wife from where they flew to the sky. After some days fishermen caught two Eagle spotted rays from the sea; while trying to cook it the whole site exploded and Ochaeo along with his wife flew to the sky. With this incident the people of the island began to worship Ochaeo as a god. Even now there is a platform at ‘Idub’ said to be the shrine of Ochaeo.
Along with corals