The World’s Most Outlandish Swimming Pools


The swimming pool. Something of a mundane luxury, swimming pools in their various incarnations are now holding their own among the human made wonders of the modern world. In this deep diving account, we discover some of the most incredible and sometimes terrifying extreme swimming pools of the world. The deepest, the strangest and sometimes, the sharkiest.

10. The Deep Joy, Italy

Italy is now noteworthy in the diving community for being the country with the world’s deepest pool. The sheer depth of the world’s deepest pool may shock you. Located in the Northern Italian municipality of Montegrotto Terme, Y-40, known as “The Deep Joy,” is 138 feet deep and holds 1,136,000 gallons of heated water.

Designed by architect Emanuele Boaretto, the pool was opened in June 2014. Underwater caves and a tunnel are included in the pool, which progresses to a tube shaped drop to the deepest section. The pool was recognized as the “Deepest Swimming Pool for Diving” by the Guinness Book of World Records when it opened.

9. Golden Nugget Aquarium Pool, Las Vegas

Las Vegas has more than casinos to attract thrill seekers; try close encounters of the sharky kind! Las Vegas, Nevada is home to a place where you can swim with sharks during your hotel stay, without being bitten. Well, at least feel like you are swimming with them (you’re actually separated by a wall of glass).

On one side of the Golden Nugget Hotel’s “Aquarium Pool” are the fish, which include sharks, and on the other side are the human swimmers. There is even a waterslide in the form of a tunnel going between the sharks and other fish that make up the indoor ocean, whisking swimmers right past the big gray jaws and toothy grins of these admittedly frightening fish.

8. Citystars Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

The world’s largest pool is the gigantic Citystars Sharm El Sheikh crystal lagoon. Engineered by Crystal Lagoons Corp, an innovative company known for creating safe, clean swimming environments on an unprecedented scale through unique water treatment technology, the pool covers 30.88 acres. The pool is recognized for the being the largest artificial swimming pool on the planet by Guinness World Records.

The nearly 20-acre San Alfonso del Mar crystal lagoon in Chile, made by the same company, was the previous record holder. The company’s clever technology has vastly expanded the potential size of swimming pools into the realm of lagoons and small lakes by making water treatment far more practical and expedient.

7. Nemo 33, Belgium

The former holder of the record for world’s deepest pool is also one to induce potential claustrophobia for the novice diver. At 115 feet in depth, the cylindrical Nemo 33 in Brussels, Belgium drops straight down to provide the depth required for SCUBA dive training. Resembling a bottomless, cylindrical pit filled with water, the pool does contain a ladder from the bottom. Part of the pool has a row of windows facing into a bar, whose patrons can wave to divers as they pass by.

A certified diver is required to accompany visitors, who must be in good health and over 12 years of age to dive at Nemo 33. The pool is non-chlorinated and kept warm at 86 degrees Fahrenheit with solar heating, while the cleanliness of the water is maintained by an effective filtration system. The pool held the record for being the world’s deepest from May 1, 2004 to June 5, 2014 and has also been recognized by Popular Mechanics as one of the “World’s Strangest Pools.”

6. The Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool, Singapore

Singapore offers bathers a place where they will feel like they are swimming off the edge of the city skyline. Infinity pools are spectacular, even terrifying at first. You look at the pool but see no edge, just water seemingly disappearing into thin air where there should be an edge. Singapore’s most startling water attraction is a giant infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark that is located at the edge of a huge platform on the pool’s host building, 57 stories above the city streets below.

Most visually arresting as a truly bizarre building when viewed from the ground, the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark infinity pool is the world’s largest elevated pool, and the structure is a spectacular site. Roughly rectangular in shape, the pool is approximately 492 feet long and is supported by three evenly spaced resort towers creating a silhouette that is unforgettable.

5. The Floating Pool, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Italy

It takes a measure of creativity to establish the world’s most unusually and sometimes just ironically situated pools. Take the Floating Pool in Italy, constructed so that it is actually within a structure reminiscent of a dock that is floating in Italy’s Lake Como. The pool is located at the lakeside Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Italy’s northerly Province of Como.

Lake Como is 1,300 feet deep, making it one of Europe’s five deepest lakes. Being located near the edge, the pool gives you the feeling of swimming in the truly grand lake, but without the experience of encountering any annoying lake critters like catfish or waterbugs or venturing excessively into the depths of the lake by mistake.

4. The Badeschiff Pool, Germany

Opened in 2004 but with older roots, the Badeschiff Pool (translating to English as “Bathing Ship”) is exactly what it sounds like – a modified old barge that has become a pool for bathing. Placed in the River Spree, Badeschiff Pool offers swimmers an outstanding swimming experience in Berlin, Germany.

However, there is a sad backstory to the utility of this spectacularly situated pool. The scenic River Spree is simply too chock full of pollutants for swimmers to safely enjoy the water, thus swimming in the pool is a viable replacement for actually going in the river while providing a reminiscent experience. An exceptional view of Berlin is offered from the pool, while amenities for winter consisting of heating and a dome cover allow a stunning contrast where bathers can swim in comfortably hot water on the modified river barge while surrounded by the frigid river.

3. Crocosaurus Cove, Australia

Australia may be full of dangerous animals, but one enterprise has capitalized on the risk by creating a safe but ultimately scary swimming experience. Opened in 2008 and located in Darwin is the epically named Crocosaurus Cove, where you can visit a pool to dive with enclosure protection amongst gigantic saltwater crocs. Visitors can be lowered into a circular clear tube. Swimming by are the crocs, which also lung upwards to accept food on a wand offered by staff.

However one feels about close encounters with crocs, this is one way to experience the feeling of swimming with crocs without the regular fatal threat posed by the giant reptiles. A monorail runs the “cage” over the enclosure before lowering the visitors into the pool where they are dwarfed by the largest living reptiles on the planet.

2. Aqua Dome, Austria

Located in the Ötztal valley municipality of Längenfeld in Tirol, Austria, sandwiched among mountains close to the Italian border and German border, are pools that seem to be from another planet. The alien landscape is that of the Aqua Dome, a spa featuring three circular, elevated pools among its architecture. Open to the outdoors, the pools resemble upside down flying saucers, accompanied by a pyramid shaped structure that is lit up. Larger thermal baths at the center of the spa in the thermal spa dome are connected through simulated rapids that lead to the saucer shaped pools, and then to the iconic glass pyramid. 

Once the rapids have been traveled and the alien pools visited, the pyramid can be climbed via an interior stairway for an incredible view from its pinnacle. All in all, the site is one of Europe’s most spectacular recreation and restoration sites with its magnificent architecture that reflects the dramatic alpine surroundings. The combination of peculiarity and good taste, together with the sulfur rich mineral water provided by the hot springs, make this a one of a kind watery attraction.

1. Holiday Inn Pool, Shanghai

A certain Holiday Inn in China’s busy city of Shanghai is bound to make even the most seasoned traveler or swimmer pause with fearful fascination. A partially glass-bottomed pool is located 24 floors up, starting in the main section of the floor and then extending out over the city thanks to a building extension that is glass bottomed.

Swimmers can swim out from the building and then look down at the city below with literally nothing except water and glass separating them from the fearsome drop. The feeling merges swimming and flying all in one, making the glass bottomed portion of the 98-foot-long pool one of the most shocking swimming experiences available on the planet.

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1 Comment

  1. Crocosaurus Cove is in Darwin, not Sydney. How do you get that wrong?

    Interesting list, otherwise.