The lagoon formed about 2,000 years ago. It was once a large cavern that collapsed following an earthquake. The outline of the collapsed cavern roof can be clearly discerned from a distance.
The lake has quite unique environmental conditions: it is supplied with warm seawater (28-35ºCelsius) via an underground channel spreading through a network of flooded caves, so its temperature never drops below 18 °C (usually ranges around 21-24 °C), whereas a freshwater spring reduces its salinity to brackish levels (14.5-18 psu).
It continues deep inside the mountain in an underwater cave never fully explored, as its end seems impossible to trace even by employing sonar detection. Many underwater expeditions have been carried out in order to chart it, and a few amateur divers have drowned trying.
- Otero, M. del M.; Numa, C.; Bo, m.; Orejas, C.; Garrabou, J.; Cerrano, C.; Kružić, P.; Antoniadou, C.; Aguilar, R.; Kipson, S.; Linares, C.; Terrón-Sigler, A.; Brossard, J.; Kersting, D.; Casado-Amezúa, P.; García, S.; Goffredo, S.; Ocaña, O.; Caroselli, E.; Maldonado, M.; Bavestrello, G.; Cattaneo-Vietti, R.; Özalp, B. (2017), Overview of the Conservation Status of Mediterranean Anthozoa (PDF), IUCN Redlist, IUCN