If you like doing laps in the swimming pool, you
might want to stock up on the energy drinks before diving in to this
one. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, had a 115ft
deep end and holds 66 million gallons of water. Yesterday the
Guinness Book of Records named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile
as the biggest in the world.
But if you fancy splashing out on one of your own
- and you have the space to accommodate it - then beware: This one
took five years to build, cost nearly $1 billion and the annual
maintenance bill will be $2 million.
The man-made saltwater lagoon has been attracting
huge crowds to the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, on Chile
's southern coast, since it opened last month.
Its turquoise waters are so crystal clear that
you can see the bottom even in the deep end.
It dwarfs the world's second biggest pool, the
Orthlieb - nicknamed the Big Splash - in Morocco , which is a mere
150 yards long and 100 yards wide. An Olympic size pool measures
some 50 yards by 25 yards.
Chile's monster pool uses a computer-controlled
suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent
circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it
out at the other.
The sun warms the water to 26c, nine degrees
warmer than the adjoining sea.
Chilean biochemist Fernando Fischmann, whose
Crystal Lagoons Corporation designed the pool, said advanced
engineering meant his company could build "an impressive artificial
paradise" even in inhospitable areas. "As long as we have access to
unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to