These three pools are so large that you can sail on them, scuba dive in them, and you may even get lost trying to navigate around them. Here are the three largest constructed pools, or more specifically lagoons, on Earth.
1. City Stars, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
This pool in Egypt took the record of the world’s largest pool from the second-place finisher on this list when it opened in 2015 and is considered the world’s largest man-made lagoon. The pool covers 23.9 acres or 1,042,000 square feet (96,804 square meters).
The pool project cost $5.5 billion and is in the Sinai desert 312 miles south of Cairo and three miles from the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. Guests of the resort can enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, and swimming in this saltwater lagoon.
2. San Alfonso del Mar Resort, Algarrobo, Chile
The massive pool at the San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile previously held the record for the largest pool in the world when it was completed in 2006 and was the first mega-massive pool constructed in the world.
At first glance, the pool’s location seems strange as it sits directly beside the ocean and a sandy beach. Why build a pool when you could just as easily walk over to the beach? For one, this area of the ocean is cold, and it’s also dangerous. Swimming is even prohibited in the area. So the resort had a problem–what can attract tourists to an area next to the beach where they’re not even allowed in the ocean? The technology wasn’t in place to make a pool this size in the early 2000s, but after many years of testing, a company called Crystal Lagoons developed the technology to create a crystal-clear lagoon in an inhospitable environment.
The pool covers almost 20 acres and holds 66 million gallons of salt water. That is the equivalent of 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools that hold 660,000 gallons each. Its length measures 3,324 feet or about 11 football fields. While the ocean just beyond the pool’s walls reads a crisp 59 degrees, the pool regularly hovers at around 78 degrees.
The Crystal Lagoons Corporation, which designed, built, and maintains the lagoon, uses the ocean next to it to feed the saltwater lagoon. It relies on a computer-controlled system and a sophisticated series of filtration systems to clean the water after it is sucked in from the sea. The system then returns the water to the sea. It is an efficient system that wouldn’t have been possible with previous technology because the costs would have been too high.
Guests can go scuba diving, paddle a kayak, or sail in a boat. The cost for construction was $1.5 billion, and the price tag for maintaining the pool is over $3 million a year.
3. MahaSamutr, Hua Hin, Thailand
The third largest pool in the world is located at MahaSamutr Country Club & Luxury Villas in Thailand. Like the San Alfonso del Mar Resort, this pool was designed by the Crystal Lagoon Corporation. It is Asia’s largest man-made lagoon.
This pool covers 780,000 square feet (72,000 square meters), contains salt water, and is surrounded by 80 villas. It was completed in 2014 at a cost of $450 million. The pool is a little over two miles from the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and about four hours away from Bangkok. This pool, like the others, allows guests to enjoy sailing, kayaking, and swimming.
Here’s a list of the other largest pools in the world.