How many laps can you swim? I’ll admit that swimming definitely isn’t my strong suit. I can run a few miles, but if I try to swim a few laps around a pool it’ll just lead to burping up chlorine all day.
If you can complete a couple of laps, then I tip my swimming cap to you. If you’re the type of person who takes to water like a fish, then I truly envy you. Perhaps you’re looking for a swimming pool up to your standards.
For a truly Olympian swimming pool challenge, head on down to the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile. It’s only got the world’s largest outdoor swimming pool. At a staggering 1,013 meter length, this swimming pool isn’t for the weak of heart. At that size, you have to wonder if it isn’t better suited in the “manmade lake” category rather than the “swimming pool” category. But hey, the Guinness Book of World Records calls it the world’s longest swimming pool, so who am I to argue?
The pool is definitely neat, don’t get me wrong. Something of that size is automatically a tourist attraction. As cool as it is, though, it’s really pretty bizarre that it even exists at all. Why’s that? Well, it’s only about a stone’s throw from the ocean. It’s not like good swimming spots are scarce or anything.
One of the weirdest things about the pool is that it sucks in water from the ocean, so despite being a pool, it’s actually filled with salt water. Sure, it’s purified and clear, but you’re still basically swimming in sea water. If you want to swim in a giant body of salt water, why not just walk the extra 20 feet and take a dip in the ocean?
The pool is a bit absurd – approximately in the same vein as a solar-powered light bulb (useful but odd), but the approach of using salt water from the ocean to fill the pool was an excellent choice. A sophisticated system of pumps keeps the pool filled with fresh and clean water, all while leaving the nearby aquatic ecosystem relatively unharmed.
It’s easy to appreciate the lengths that the designers went to in order to keep a swimming pool of that size relatively sustainable and efficient, but at the same time it’s easy to question the redundancy of building a giant swimming pool right next to the ocean.