Monday, August 20, 2012

Bottomless pit

Actually, it's not a bottomless pit, either literally (it is 113'/34.5m deep, which makes it the deepest indoor swimming pool in the world or figuratively (it is a self-supporting privately-run aqua facility called Nemo 33) - it just looks that way when you gaze into the well. The pool (video here) in Brussels, Belgium, contains 660,500 gallons (2.5million liters) of non-chlorinated, highly filtered spring water warmed to 86° F (30° C) with solar panels. It has special features at the following depth levels:
  • 16' (5m) - a large flat-bottomed area, above which are several flat platforms
  • 23' (7m) - several windows through which the restaurant can be viewed
  • 32' (10m) - another large flat-bottomed area
  • 108' (33m) - the bottom of the large circular well
There are several underwater caves in the pool, described by Belgian underwater photographer Michael Braunstein (see his photos of the pool here): "The first cave was nicely decorated with stalactites on the ceiling and on the walls; my buddy did some meditation there. The second cave was decorated with submarine windows showing some underwater life. The third cave, not yet decorated, is used at the end of diving courses when the instructor opens up a bottle of champagne and drinks it together with the newly certified divers to celebrate their success." Nemo 33 (more photos here) was designed by Belgian civil engineer and diving expert John Beernaerts, who now manages it. The pool is used for diving recreation, practice, and instruction; hydrotherapy and military training; and film production, among other activities. It is open to the public for rates of 30€ per person and per dive (22€ for certified divers). The pool and facilities at Nemo 33 can also be rented for private use.The pool can accommodate 160 swimmers/divers in the water and has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since it was launched in 2004.
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Diverse divers:

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