In case you own a perth fibreglass pool or are thinking of installing one of the several fibreglass pools on the market, you may find a read on the history of pools interesting. Since human beings have been close to water, there has been an undisputed relation to aquatic life. The first civilizations on the planet lived close to water, primarily because the surrounding land was fertile. Folklore, myths and stories of creation are rife with water references. Humans, drawn to water bodies, have an instinct to connect with water. This has a lot to do with their belief in the benefits of water.
The Great Bath
A brief background into the history of pools is required to read about some quirky and intriguing swimming pool facts. “The Great Bath” is the antecedent to today’s pool. It is the earliest public tank documented in the annals of history, going back to more than 10,000 years ago. Discovered in the ancient civilization of Mohenjodaro, it originally was in Sind, then India. The civilisation developed on the banks of the River Indus and now falls within Pakistan. Most likely used for rituals and religious purposes, the bath was not a public swimming pool as such. Here are 10 enthralling swimming pool facts that will keep you reading.
In 1993, cave paintings found in Egypt depicted figures that were apparently swimming. This was the first discovery of ancient art that portrayed any semblance of swimming in history. Discovered in a cave called the “Cave of Swimmers”, the Neolithic rock art discovered by Laszlo Almasy dates back to 5000 BCE. Later, archeologists have attributed the drawings to ancient deceased people floating in the River Nile. In the modern-day, tourists have damaged the rock walls and some art.
The ancient Greeks were the first community to indulge in recreational swimming. Between 800 – 600 BCE, the economy of Ancient Greece was on the rise. Open-air gymnasiums called “Palaestrae” were built. These were sports and leisure centres. Here, the public could meet and greet, as well as have their dose of exercise, facilitating social interaction and health.
Swimmers in Sri Lanka
The Ancient Sinhalese built pools in pairs, known as “Kuttam Pokuna” in Sri Lanka. These had steps for easy access and were decorated with scroll patterns, as far back as the 4th century BCE.
By 100 BCE, the Romans introduced public baths and added something different – hot springs. The first heated pool, not as advanced as the fibreglass pools of today, was built by an advisor to Augustus Caesar, Gaius Maecenas. Augustus Caesar was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, and in a bid to win the hearts of people, created a unique pool experience for that era. In 43 AD, the Romans ruled over Britain, introducing the practice of ritualistic bathing and recreational swimming. In 75 AD, the Romans built a religious-centric spa called Aquae Sulis and claimed that the waters of the baths had healing powers. These baths were dotted with thermal springs.
Municipal Pools and a Swimming Club
In 1828, the first public indoor pool was established in England. It was a municipal pool filled with saltwater. Formed in 1844, in the heart of Kent city, Maidstone, UK, the Maidstone Swimming Club is England’s oldest swimming club. Established in response to concerns over drowning incidents in the Medway River, the club has been a popular place for swimmers. Interesting to note is the fact that rescuers who dived into the Medway to save people also drowned as the current was too strong for them to swim to safety.
Swimming on the Titanic
The history of pools cannot go without a mention of the famous ocean liner, the RMS Titanic. Recognized as one of history’s failures in shipbuilding, the ship sank on its maiden journey from Southampton to New York in 1912. It struck an iceberg. The ocean liner was the first to have a swimming pool onboard. The largest passenger ship of its time, the swimming pool was only accessible to first-class passengers. Located on the starboard of F Deck, there was an extra charge to swim, and men and women had separate timings to use the pool. At 6 feet (1.83 meters) deep, the pool’s design resembled some lap pools and the fibreglass pools we see today.
Swimming and the Olympics
Swimming as a competitive sport was first introduced to the Olympic Games in 1896. These games were the first modern Olympics and a Hungarian swimmer, Alfred Hajos, won gold medals in freestyle 100-meter and 1200-meter events.
The Deepest Pool
The deepest swimming pool is housed in Belgium. It is called “Nemo 33”, and is 34 meters deep. An indoor pool, the temperature is maintained at a comfortable 30 degrees Celsius. Divers don’t have to wear wet suits to prevent hypothermia.
The Largest Pool
The Guinness Book of World records states that the largest pool in the world is the Alfonso Del Mar pool in Chile. Built in 2006, it is a seawater pool that is 1013 meters in length. The largest fibreglass pools today are up to 43 feet (13.11 m) long, and may be customized to longer lengths in specific cases.
Australia is a continent of natural-born swimmers. The continent builds more pools per capita than any other nation. Australians are some of the best swimmers too and excel at water sports. The most Olympic medals that Australia has won in the past have come from swimmers like Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones. Both have won 9 medals each.
The Beauty of Pools
Tried and tested for years, the swimming pool is an asset to have in your backyard, as history has proved. The benefits of swimming for health are clear, and fibreglass pools come in styles and shapes that increase the value of your property. Swimming pools have taken center stage in historical timelines, appearing in the most ancient civilizations and are still with us. In the current day and age, we’re lucky that we can put them in our backyards.