KAKABAN LAKE

Kakaban Island is one of 31 islands belonging to the Derawan archipelago, which include Sangalaki, Maratua and Derawan. Kakaban was elevated through years of geological pressure, which eventually sealed off what was once a lagoon, creating the Kakaban Lake. “Kakaban” comes from a word in the local dialect meaning “hug,” because of the way the 9-shaped island “hugs” the lake in the center. Kakabanlake has been declared a government nature reserve, and has been nominated as a World Heritage Zone.


The ecosystem of the lake is very similar to that of the open sea, but with a twist! The trapped sea-water diluted with rain water and ground water creates a unique habitat that has caused the creatures trapped inside to evolve! The lake has warm, brackish water of 11 to 17 meters in depth, and is carpeted in marine green algae. Four species of jellyfish criss-cross the waters of Kakaban lake, but unlike their counterparts beyond the coral wall, the lake-jellies have no natural predators, resulting in the evolution of the species to no longer need their venom as self-defence.


Other evolutionary processes have also taken place in this lake: The box jellyfish, normally one of the deadliest creatures in the world, in addition to losing its sting, has shrunk to barely a third its normal size. The Spotted Jellyfish is no longer spotted, and the Cassiopeia swims upside down, with its tentacles to the surface. This is so the sun may shine on its algae-covered tentacles, creating a photosynthetic reaction and thus producing food! Meanwhile, the white anemone has evolved into a passive jellyfish predator.Eight species of fish also dwell in this biological paradise, as well as sea cucumbers, sponges, crabs, tunicates, snakes, and orange purple and yellow clams.

Nearest Destination

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The Derawan islands must be everyone’s dream of the perfect tropical paradise: warm, isolated islands with soft white sand beaches fringed with waving palm trees, pristine seas that change color from green to deep blue, and an amazing underwater life of giant turtles, dolphins, manta rays, dugongs and barracudas, stingless jellyfish and sometimes, whales Derawan is indeed one of world’s richest areas in bio-diversity. Small wonder that the Derawan Islands are considered the third best dive destination in the world. Located just away from the mainland of East Kalimantan in the district of Berau, the Derawan archipelago comprises 31 islands, most well known among these are the islands of Derawan, Maratua, Sangalaki and Kakaban. Here is Indonesia’s largest nesting site of the rare and ...