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Meet the Adriatic » Nature Park Mljet – The Island of Odysseus

As the legend says, antique hero Odysseus spent seven years on Mljet as a captive of the sea nymph Calypso. He was stranded on the rock Ogiran (wich is still a dangerous rock for seafarers). So he swam into a cave wich was named after him. Even though he stayed on Mljet against his own free will, we believe it was not such a bad experience being captured on the greenest island of all Adriatic islands. Besides, Homers gossip reveals he was beautiful nymph's lover… Therefore be careful not to get stuck on Mljet, especially if you have your better half waiting for you somewhere. One does not know where to start when speaking of Mljet. The national park is dominated by two seawater lakes (27 and 46 m deep). But the real adventure lies in the depths. Unfortunatley we are not talking about the Loch Ness monster, but 26 million years old giant jelly fish are certanly a phenomena. The existence of the jelly fish half a meter long is unquestionable what cannot be said for the Nessy and the vague pictures of it. It is their origin that raises doubts, because those lakes are actually deep bays connected to the sea, created due to the rising of the sea level wich is the consenquence of the last ice age 15 thousand years ago. Therefore the age of the jelly fish surpasses the age of the lakes about 2000 times. But lets leave that mystery to the scientists. When speaking of these guys, they actually predict, considering the specific ecological conditions in the lakes, one could find besides jelly fish, also many unknown animal species, primarily snails and shells. Due to specific conditions the lake has grown the largest famous coral stone reef in the Adriatic. A very usefull legend that comes handy to any adventurous spirit who wanders off to Mljet says that these jelly fish have to do with more than a hundred missing people in this century. If such was true than the story of Mljet would be far more interesting; this is actually a fairy tale – people are not missing and neither are jelly fish, even though a man is the biggest threat to the survival of these species.

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