It’s hard to know with any degree of certainty, but the world’s first swimming pool is believed to be the brick-lined Great Bath at the Mohenjo-daro archaeological site in Pakistan – built in the third millennium BC.
The ancient Greeks and Romans built pools to train their athletes and soldiers, and Roman emperors had private swimming pools which they shared with fish, hence the French word ‘piscine’ and the Italian variation ‘piscina’.
Today, the largest above ground pools in the world are quite staggering feats of design and construction, and even the most opulent Roman emperor would marvel at these water-based wonders of the world.
What is the Biggest Swimming Pool in the World?
Forget your local swimming baths or even Olympic-sized pools, these bathing behemoths have to be seen to be believed! Here are the contenders for the biggest pool in the world.
Tooting Bec Lido
Location: London, UK | Size: 2,760 m2 | Water: Fresh water
The famous Tooting Bec Lido may not be the largest swimming pool in the world but it is the UK’s largest fresh water swimming pool, holding over 4.5 million litres of water. It opened in July 1906 and is one of the UK’s oldest open-air swimming pools. It was proposed by the Rector of Tooting, the Reverend John Hendry Anderson, as a project for local unemployed men, and has become one of south London’s most famous landmarks.
Dreamworld Fun Lagoon
Location: Karachi, Pakistan | Size: 8,900 m2 | Water: Well water
Pakistan’s Dreamworld Resort, Hotel & Golf Course is home to the world’s largest freshwater swimming pool. The pool is filled with over nine million litres of locally-drawn well water. As well as a huge selection of waterslides, there is an artificial wave machine producing waves over a metre high!
Lagoon at Epperson
Location: Florida, USA | Size: 30,350 m2 | Water: Fresh water
Holding almost 66 million litres of water, the Lagoon at Epperson is one of the largest above ground pools in the world. It has a perimeter of 1.3 kilometres and is surrounded by a sandy beach. The Caribbean blue water is host to a huge inflatable obstacle course, waterslides, a swim-up bar, loads of watersports and of course plenty of space for swimming!
MahaSamutr Country Club & Luxury Villas
Location: Hua Hin, Thailand | Size: 72,000 m2 | Water: Seawater
Sitting on the stunning Malay Peninsula, MahaSamutr (literally, ‘The Ocean’) is a private complex of 80 luxury villas, all of which are on the edge of Asia’s largest man-made lagoon. It’s over 800 metres long and fringed by an artificial beach. One of the biggest swimming pools in the world is a watersports lover’s paradise with swimming, sailing, kayaking and canoeing every day of the year.
San Alfonso Del Mar
Location: Algarrobo, Chile | Size: 80,000 m2 | Water: Sea water
The private residential resort of San Alfonso del Mar was the world record holder for the title of biggest pool in the world until it was eclipsed by the CityStars Lagoon. This stunning salt water seascape holds a quarter of a billion litres of crystal clear water, is over a kilometre long and is literally centimetres from Chile’s Pacific coast. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in this perfect pool, you can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating as well as a saltwater swimming pool inside a glass pyramid which looks like it was taken straight from the Louvre in Paris!
Location: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt | Size: 96,800m2 | Water: Sea water
Listed in Guinness World Records as the world’s largest crystalline lagoon, this is the largest swimming pool in the world. It opened in 2015 in the middle of the Sinai desert and is surrounded by sandy beaches. It is the sensational centrepiece of the CityStars Sharm El Sheikh Resort and was created by Chilean company Crystal Lagoons who are responsible for other huge pools on this list including MahaSamutr in Thailand, the Lagoon at Epperson in Florida and the pool at San Alfonso del Mar.