While boating in and out of Palau’s 300+ islets in search of the best snorkeling spots, we had found some spectacular sites loaded with colorful fish, gigantic clams, white tip sharks and intricate coral. All pretty much expected from notably one of the world’s best places to scuba dive. But, there was something very unexpected…

A natural mud bath in the most brilliant blue waters of Palau, the Milky Way.
Palau Milky Way

The Milky Way, located in the rock islands of this Micronesian country, is known for its therapeutic properties. Locals claim that bathing in the white limestone mud found on the waters floor will make you look ten years younger.

Lather me up, this is one theory I am happy to test. Get me some mud. Pronto.

We anchored our boat in the center of the Milky Way and our trusty Sam Tour’s guide jumped into the shallow waters. He skillfully dove to the bottom of the ocean floor and scooped up the muddy clay, putting it into a plastic bucket. The ease of holding his breath indicated that he may have done this once or twice before.Palau Milky Way

We all playfully coated ourselves with this muck that was the consistency of smooth, wet cement. I made sure to not miss an inch of exposed skin, making certain that each spot would have potential of being a decade younger.

Even in between my toes now had a shot at being more youthful.
Palau Milky Way Annette White at Palau Milky Way

We waited about twenty minutes for it to completely dry, as this would give maximum benefit.
Palau Milky Way
Annette White atj Palau Milky Way

After my clay turned chalky and started cracking from the heat, I jumped into the 82 degree milky water to rinse off my limestone mud. It mostly disintegrated with the waters touch, but the remainder easily disappeared with a few quick rubs of the skin.
Palau Milky Way

Though my skin did feel smoother at the moment, the chances of an entire ten years disappearing may have been slim, none of which mattered, because now I can officially check get a mud bath off my bucket list.

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Disclosure: I was a guest of Palau Visitors Center and Sam Tours, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.