Watch the water glow around you in a bioluminescent bay, dive as deep as you dare into world-record blue holes, hang over the edge of incredibly high waterfalls or snorkel among thousands of jellyfish in these 12 incredible swimming spots. Including both natural and artificial pools and beaches, sites that are readily accessible and those that are more of a reward for hard work, these cool places to take a dip are definitely unique.
The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
(images via: christianhaugen)
No trip to Israel or Jordan is complete without taking a dip in the Dead Sea, which is technically a lake that’s about 30 percent salt, causing objects – like people – to float. The lowest place on earth at 417 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is a popular destination for tourists, but be careful; the ability to float doesn’t mean non-swimmers won’t drown. And whatever you do, avoid splashing that super-salty water into your eyes.
Seagaia Ocean Dome, Japan
(images via: amusing planet)
Why swim at an artificial beach when the real one is just 300 meters away? Maybe just for the novelty, and the artificial flame-spitting volcano that ‘erupts’ every 15 minutes. The Ocean Dome was part of the Sheraton Seagaia resort and could accommodate 10,000 tourists at a time. Similar artificial beaches can be found in Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin and Toronto.
Jellyfish Lake, Palau
(images via: echeng, Sky Chick Adventures, National Geographic, meremail, National Geographic, National Geographic)
Swimming in Jellyfish Lake is an experience unlike any other. This marine lake in Palau is connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the limestone of an ancient reef, but is isolated enough that the species within have evolved differently than those in the sea. As a result, it’s packed full of two unique species of jellyfish: golden jellyfish, and moon jellyfish. Though both have stinging cells, they’re generally not powerful enough to harm humans.
Devil’s Pool, Zimbabwe
(images via: oddity central)
These seemingly death-defying photos of swimmers hanging over the edge of a massive waterfall are just a tad deceiving; the Devil’s Pool is a small lagoon enclosed by rocks. But if you did manage to fall over the side, you wouldn’t be doing too well by the time you tumbled 103 meters (337 feet) to the bottom of Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls.
Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico
(images via: Uptake Attractions, Whole Travel, citizen of the Earth, Map Puerto Rico)
This naturally bioluminescent bay is one of the world’s most unique places for swimming, the water glowing an eerie blue all around you. Located in Puerto Rico, it’s actually one of three such ‘bio bays’ in the country containing millions of glowing microorganisms. These prehistoric one-celled organisms, which are half-animal, half-plant, light up when disturbed.
Devil’s Eye, Boiling Springs, Florida
(images via: flsprings.com)
Two attached spring pools with an average depth of twelve feet make up Devil’s Eye Springs in Florida, found within the state’s stunning Itchetucknee Springs. The water is nearly crystal clear and almost always chilly, a welcome quirk in a state that sees very hot and humid weather in summertime. A vent from deep within the spring and cave system sends bubbles spiraling up to the surface, hence the spot’s other name, Boiling Springs.