The National Swimming Pool Foundation estimates there are more than 10 million swimming pools across the USA, including more than 360,000 public pools that are open year round. And while our pool pumps and automated pool management systems lead the way with innovative aquatic technology, swimming pools existed long before there were machines to maintain them. Turns out, people were creating luxurious pool experiences as far back as 2500 B.C. (that’s before chlorine…)
Let’s dive in:
- The first cruise ship with a swimming pool was the Titanic. It was a heated 30ft by 14ft saltwater pool. Considered a modern-day luxury at the time, the pool was only for first class passengers; open to women from 10am until 1pm, and open to men from 2pm until 6pm.
- The “Great Bath” in Pakistan is believed to be the first pool built over 5,000 years ago. Built by hand from tar-covered stone, the tank measures approximately 39ft in length and 23ft wide, with a maximum depth of 8ft.
- Benjamin Franklin thoroughly enjoyed swimming and actually invented swimming fins. Fortunately, his other most famous discovery, electricity, did not come while swimming.
- The first heated swimming pool was built by Gaius Maecenas of Rome in the 1st century B.C. using water diverted through piping from natural springs. The Romans furthered pool engineering in 305 A.D. with a massive 900,000 square foot network of pools known as the Roman Baths, which were heated by giant fires in the basement beneath the floors of the pool; the columns and walls pumped the heat up to the pool above. Some pools even used silver plates as the first attempt at chemical sanitization.
- Talk about an oasis… The world’s largest swimming pool is actually located in the middle of the Egyptian desert. Built as part of the luxury Sharm-el-Sheikh tourist development, the environmentally friendly, man-made lagoon measures 1.3 million square feet — covering an area 27 times larger than a football field.
- 7-Eleven sells 38 million soft drinks each year — enough to fill 51 Olympic size swimming pool. Wonder if that includes slushies?
- Get ready to go deep… real deep. At 131ft — equivalent to the height of a 13-story building — the Y-40 “Deep Joy” cylindrical pool in Italy’s Hotel Millepini Terme holds the record for the deepest indoor pool and contains 136,000 gallons of specially heated thermal water, a large water mirror and four underwater caves. Those not ready to take the plunge can still experience the surreal aquatic realm by walking through a transparent underwater tunnel.
- Does this surprise anyone? Some Las Vegas hotels feature floating gambling tables in the swimming pool.
- Finally, they say that everything is bigger in Texas and apparently pools are no exception. Just south of Houston in El Campo lies the biggest backyard pool in the U.S. Over 3 acres in size with over 6000,000 gallons of water, this residential retreat features 6 waterfalls, a 21ft slide and a 500ft lazy river — perfect for relaxing sunny Sundays.