*One of the earliest known structures similar to modern inground swimming pools called a “public water tank” is the Great Bath, which was found in the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan and built in the 3rd millennium BC. It was lined with bricks and covered with a sealant made from tar.
*But people have been swimming much longer! Egyptian drawings from 2,500 BC show swimmers using an over-arm stroke much like the front crawl.
*Swimming and enjoying pools as recreation was very popular in ancient Greece. In fact, it was Greek philosopher Plato that said, “A man is not learned until he can read, write, and swim.”
*Ancient Roman baths included cold water pools, tepid water pools, and heated pools. We’ll pass on the cold pool, thanks!
*The Deep Eddy swimming pool in Austin, Texas is the first recorded concrete pool. First established as a swimming hole in 1915, you can still visit the Deep Eddy today.
One for the Books
*The swimming pool at San Alfonso Del Mar resort in Chile is the longest in the world, measuring in at more than 3,000 feet long and covering 20 acres. At its deepest, it’s 115 feet deep.
*Perhaps the most unusual pool you’ll ever see, the Library Resort’s Blood-Red Pool in Koh Samui, Thailand is as red as you might expect from its name. The color comes not from anything done to the water itself, but from the red, orange, and yellow mosaic tiles used in the pool. How’s that for unique tile selection?
*Which US state is home to the largest backyard pool in the world? Texas, of course! Larger than most community pools, the Mobley Family pool in El Campo, Texas, holds 600,000 gallons of water and includes a lazy river and 6 waterfalls!
By the Numbers
*There are more than 10 million residential pools in the United States.
*A bit more than 50% of those pools are in-ground.
*An estimated 65% of Americans don’t know how to swim.
*One of the most popular pool additions? Diving boards! 38% of pools have one.
*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, swimming and other water exercises are the 4th most popular exercises in the US, behind walking, weightlifting, and using cardio machines like the treadmill.
*Swimming is a great workout! Depending on your pace and your body weight, you can burn 100 to more than 500 calories in 30 minutes. Not only does swimming work all the major muscle groups at once, but it’s also low-impact!
*The average person swims in a pool 6 times per year. Thankfully, you don’t have to be average! Add a pool to your own backyard and you can enjoy a daily swim all summer long.