Kickin' It At Kiko Lake
Kiko Lake is one of my favorite places on the map but it doesn't get a lot of recognition. I previously did an article on Maraqua, the history of it, and its people, and a commonly misconstrued fact is that Maraqua is the only underwater city. Kiko Lake actually has two divisions, one that lives up on land and one that lives down at the bottom of the lake. There are plenty of aquatic Kikos that live down there and have their own functioning economy and lifestyle.
Kiko Lake has been lucky in the past to avoid a lot of drama that other lands have faced, they haven't had any major wars or people attempting to seize control for profit. There are a lot of reasons for that but I won't spoil that by jumping right into it in the intro! What kind of writer would I be if I did that? Give away my whole story and my many months of research in the first two minutes, no way!
Similar to Maraqua, Kiko Lake's society has spent a majority of its existence underwater. Instead of the ocean, there is a community on the lake bed. There is a lot of mystery and secrecy about exactly when a population started growing here and when the Kikos moved in, but their history stretches back at least 1,000 years, if not further.
The large lake was formed within the caldera of a long-dormant volcano, which means it exists with some elevation towering above Neopia Central. The volcano has not had any rumbles of erupting in a very long time but the residences of Kiko Lake seem to have prepared themselves in case it decides to no longer be dormant.
The lake is a circular area roughly 20 miles in diameter. The water is blue and clear, and you can look down and see the tops of the buildings below. It is too deep to make out the exact specifics of what is going on from the surface.
While the majority of the population consists of Kikos, 3% of the population is made up of Jetsam and 5% of assorted other species! A total population of around 9,400 neopets live at the lake.
Kiko Lake was not brought into global consciousness until the 23rd Day of Gathering in Year 5. I am not able to find much about the person, or group, who made the first voyage to the top of the volcano to discover this beautiful lake, nor are there details if the Kiko themselves left and revealed their home to others.
Mayor Fuff is an older Kiko with bushy eyebrows who oversees everything on the bottom of Kiko Lake. He is very friendly and has worked hard to make Kiko Lake open and available to tourists and travellers. He encourages sightseeing. He was involved in the Ghoul Catchers plot and made a name for himself when he loaned the Ghoul Catchers a boat so they could reach Terror Mountain.
It is unknown whether he also oversees the shores on land, or if he solely looks after the bottom of the lake. Kiko Lake spent all those years in secrecy and they still won't reveal a lot about their society, it really shows why no one knew of this place for so
The economy of Kiko Lake is one of the most fascinating parts. While it is a difficult place to reach, it has become a very popular tourist destination for people from all over Neopia. It has beautiful mountains surrounding it with lush forests and beautiful views, and of course the beautiful clear blue lake where you can go swimming or take boat trips.
Glass Bottom Boat Tours are one of the most popular options for tourists. Going to the bottom of the lake is very difficult or expensive for non-aquatic type pets and so they aren't able to visit the lake bed. The alternative is one of these glass bottom boats that sail across the lake. Because the water is so crystal clear, you can look down from the boat and see the society that exists below. It is the best way to get up close and personal without actually being in the environment itself.
The residents of Kiko Lake are also known for their incredibly craftwork. Many like to wander around and admire the houses and gardens of the residents. Delicate seaweed gardens and coral fences, houses shaped like Kikos, all can be seen both above and below the lake. You can also stop by Coral Creations to pick up your own coral souvenirs to adorn your Neohome. The coral that exists at the bottom of the lake is so unique and can't be found anywhere else in Neopia, it has turned into a booming business.
If you are a wealthier travel with some money to spend, you might be able to catch a ride in the Draylox's mouth. Draylox is a giant tame Tanizard that is able to make his way underwater with travellers in his mouth, protecting them from having to breathe underwater. This is how a lot of politicians and diplomats are able to meet with Mayor Fuff.
More Secrets From The Lake
There is another big secret about Kiko Lake, there is a whole extra society that exists. In the game Kookia, we learned that there is an underwater base that is home to Kookiths here! They have been spending their time plotting and training at the bottom of the lake and living underneath the Kiko's nose.
Kiko Lake also has some amazing scientists and this is the only place where you can find a cure for Kikoughela. You can find both Kikoughela Drops and Kikoughela Syrup here, specially crafted by Kiko Lake's best doctors.
A final fact about this mysterious lake: it is a great place to set up shop if you are a dentist! Kiko are known to have some serious dental issues, a lot of that comes from the preferred cuisine of Kiko Lake. While some people travel to taste the most delicious food, visit the best restaurants, Kiko Lake is not a destination known for fine food. Most residents eat rock candies and very hard or sticky substances, toffee apples, and a lot of candy. There are a few food shops set up with tourists in mind, but the locals love to eat these sickeningly sweet and mouth rotting foods. They have chipped teeth and cavities everywhere!