The San Alfonso del Mar resort is located in Algarrobo, Chile, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Like most resorts, it has a pool large enough to handle a peak season full of vacationers. Unlike most resorts, this hotel pool cost $3.5 million to build and runs roughly $4 million, annually, to maintain.
That’s what it takes to build and maintain the world’s largest pool — a distinction it earns by a large, large margin. The world’s second largest pool in the world, located in Morocco, is a mere 150 yards long and 100 yards wide, covering the surface area equal to a dozen Olympic-sized pools. The San Alfonso del Mar lagoon? At over 1,000 yards long, it’s twenty times longer than an Olympic-sized pool, and has a total surface area covering roughly the size of seventy-five such pools.
The lagoon circulates seawater in from the Pacific constantly, maintaining a payload of 66 million gallons of water. (To put the amount in perspective: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was roughly three times that size, at approximately 175 million gallons of oil.) The lagoon is navigable by small boats and, at its deepest point, extends 115 feet downward.
Apparently, it’s an ecologically friendly pool, too. By recirculating seawater (the lagoon is a saltwater pool) via its complex system, designed for the lagoon specific but since licensed elsewhere, the pool uses two orders of magnitude fewer chemicals than a typical pool. The biochemist for the corporation which built the lagoon insists that the process does no harm to the ocean and creates less water waste than most professional golf courses.
Bonus fact: Hyperventilating before diving into a swimming pool (or any body of water, for that matter) is very, very dangerous.
From the Archives: BP’s Eerie Version of Battleship: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, mentioned above, was predicted (kind of) — by a board game.
Related: An aquarium which doubles as a coffee table. $660 of pure awesomeness.