Nature is pretty amazing – look at these incredible spots for a swim which are far wilder and weirder than human imagination could come up with.
photo by tata_aka_T
A dip here isn’t nearly as dangerous as it looks. The jellyfish in this lake in Palau have evolved without predators so they have lost their harmful sting. Humans can swim and snorkel through fields of jellyfish – which must be an amazing sight. Jellyfish lake, as it has become known is located on Eil Malk Island, in Palau.
photo by SarahDepper
During the driest months of the year its possible to have a swim at the top of one of the world’s most powerful waterfalls. Although water continues to plunge down the falls from the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, a natural rocky ledge beneath the surface means that the current is safe enough to allow swimming. Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. You can only swim in the Devils Pool for a few months a year, usually between September and December.
Photo by islavieques.com
Any movement in a Bioluminescent Bay causes the phosphorescent single-celled organisms that live there to glow. This means that when you get in the water for a swim all your body is surrounded by a luminous blue green light. It also means the water glows beneath your kayak as you paddle out and that you can spot anything else entering the bay (sharks… jellyfish… rays…) entering the bay because it too will be surrounded by light. The glowing reaction is actually a defence mechanism, designed to daze predators. There are several bays where these glowing micro-organisms gather, but the one with the highest concentration of is Mosquito Bay, also known as Bio Bay, on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
photo by inju
You don’t so much swim as float in the Dead Sea. With about six times the levels of salt as the sea you just bob on the surface. Go with it and read a book on your ‘swim’ instead. The Dead Sea isn’t even a sea, but rather very salty lake located between Israel and Jordan. It also the lowest place on earth at 417 feet below sea level. If you’re going go prepared: take shoes to protect your feet from the bottom of the lake, wear old swimwear and try to avoid any cuts and scrapes in the days before – that level of salt has got to sting!
Finca El Paraiso Hot Waterfalls
photo by marinakvillatoro
The world’s only hot waterfall is located a short trek from Lago de Izabal in Guatemala. Water is near boiling when it pours over the rocks and into the cold water pool below. Aside from splashing in the absurdly pretty pool you can also crawl behind the falls where you’ll find caves just large enough to relax in a natural sauna.
Hot Water Beach
photo by Anke L
If you’re more of a bath person then you can make your own warm bath at Hot Water Beach in New Zealand. Water from underground hot springs filters up through the sand and, for during the two hours either side of low tide, if you dig a hole on the beach it will fill with water at a toasty 64°C. Take a dip in the sea if you need to cool down. You’ll find Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, about 175 kilometres from Auckland.
Black Moss Pot, Cumbria
So far, so exotic. But what if you want to take a swim without travelling half way around the world? Well the there are plenty of lakes, coves and rivers around the UK that are suitable for swimming. Black Moss Pot in Cumbria is one particularly scenic spot, if a little colder than other pools mentioned on this list! It’s a large natural pool complete with a waterfall and rock you can jump from, and remote enough that you can have the whole place to yourself.
Top photo by GerryT