Gallery: World's biggest man-made lagoon
Chalk another one up for the crazy -- but awesome -- things people build.
The world's biggest man-made lagoon, also referred to as the world's biggest swimming pool, is located at the San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile. It is a kilometer long, up to 35 meters deep and holds 250 million liters of water pumped in from the Pacific Ocean, which is only a short walk away.
Indeed, the San Alfonso del Mar Resort seems to be all about loving the sea and trying to simulate the sea without actually being the sea.
Case in point: visitors can sail boats, snorkel and scuba dive in the ridiculously large pool, and the resort also features Jacuzzis "with ocean views," and "ocean aquariums" where you can dine with a different kind of "ocean view."
While many of the recent articles on the pool have been about its sheer scale, a lot of the attention has also been focused on the hefty cost of maintenance.
However, contrary to what has been written in many recent articles, reports of the pool's maintenance fees have been greatly exaggerated. While many outlets have reported that it costs more than US$3 million to maintain, the actual cost is US$4,000 per hectare per month, including energy and labor, bringing the annual cost to US$384,000 -- which isn't anything to sneeze at, to be sure, but is still much less than what was reported previously.
It seems that the resort has been uncomfortable with the attention, and were quick to point out that the cost is "one sixth of the construction and maintenance cost associated with a pro golf course."
The man-made lagoon is actually significantly more environmentally friendly than most others -- a new technology developed by a company called Crystal Lagoons uses up to 100 times less chemicals in comparison with traditional pool maintenance systems, and has a process of filtration with sound pulses that uses 2 percent of the energy that is traditionally used in filtration systems.
"The same technology is being applied to 180 lagoon projects in different stages of development around the world, with an associated investment of US$100 billion," said public relations representative Lorena Machuca.
With all these developments going on worldwide, it seems that the San Alfonso del Mar lagoon/pool won't hold on to its world title for much longer. The title of "the world's largest man-made lagoon" will pass to a real estate development in the middle of the desert in Egypt, which is currently underway.
San Alfonso del Mar, Ave. Kennedy 8830, Algarrobo, Valparaíso Region, Chile; +56 2 202 0231; sanalfonso.cl
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