We’ve covered the Top Dive Sites and the best places to go Scuba Diving around the world, but if you’re not into the diving scene but still love the water we’ve got a treat for you. AquaViews takes a look at some of the coolest waters in the World to take a dip or swim in (in no particular order).
1. Jelly Fish Lake, Palau
Known as Ongeim’l Tketau in Palauan, the Jellyfish lake is one of it’s kind. In a freak incident of nature over 12,000 years ago, a submerged reef rose from the sea creating a landlocked saltwater lake containing some Jellyfish and none of its predators. These intelligent creatures over the years adapted into the Scyphozoa class of jellyfish called ‘Golden Jellyfish’ and ‘Moon Jellyfish’, they lost their sting and thrived in the new environment. In a matter of years the lake was home to millions of golden and moon jellyfish along with some sea anemone. Described as “swimming in a lava lamp with gelatinous blobs floating all around you, bouncing off your arms, head and feet”, it’s an experience unlike anything you will ever have elsewhere and a refreshing experience to anyone who has the privilege of visiting beautiful Palau.
2. Bioluminescent Bay, Puerto Rico
On the Vieques Island in Puerto Rico lies a shallow body of water that flows into a narrow inlet known as the Mosquito Bay. In each gallon of the bay there are 720,000 phosphorescent single-celled organisms that glow when they are agitated. The luminescence is caused by micro-organisms (dinoflagellates) which glow whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue (Read: Bioluminescent Plankton: What makes it glow?). There are a number of contributing factors that make this bay perhaps the World’s brightest and they include,the shallowness of the waters and the presence of mangrove trees at the shores which promotes the concentration of bacteria in the water, an essential nutrient to the micro-organisms. A trip into the bay is a magical experience and swimming in it is like floating through a glow in the dark picture with a blue-green glow every time you move. You can even kayak through the bay and watch your boat illuminate in the dark night, leaving a trail as it floats by. The concentration of these tiny dinoflagellates is so high that the Bio Bay is one of it’s kind, and you can even catch the movement of fish as they cos a glow in the waters.
3. Devil’s Swimming Pool, Zambia
Set atop the World famous Victoria falls, between the two southern African Countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe is The Devil’s Swimming Pool or Devil’s Armchair, a naturally formed infinity pool like no other. 420 feet above the river below, it is perfectly safe (in the dry season- September and December) to relax at the edge of one of the world’s largest waterfalls, without continuing over the edge and falling into the gorge. A natural rock wall just below the water and at the very edge of the falls creates a barrier that stops one from being carried over the lip of the falls with the current. The Devil’s Pool is one place you can if you are brave enough to hang yourself inches from certain death, take a dip quite comfortably in a rock pool right on the edge of the water falls.
4. Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas
West of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas lies of of the most accessible and one of the deepest blue holes in the World. Known worldwide as the perfect spot for free-diving The Dean’s Blue Hole plunges 663 feet to the ocean floor, making it vastly deeper than other blue holes (The Great Blue Hole in Ambergris Caye, Belize is 410 feet deep, and the Blue Hole in Sinai, Egypt is about 420 feet deep). It’s vibrant deep blue color is stunning in stark contrast to the deep green mangroves and the white sand beach that surround it. Just swimming over Dean’s warrants bragging rights of swimming in the second deepest underwater sinkhole in the World.There isn’t any coral or much marine life inside the hole itself apart from the occasional stray shark, but the noon day sun that shines straight down into the hole, make a setting at this site something you just have to dive and see for yourself!
5. The Dead Sea, Jordan/Isreal
Not quite a Sea as it’s name suggests, the Dead Sea is a extremely saline lake which derived it’s name from the Hebrew name ‘Yam ha Maved’, which means ‘Killer Sea’. At 1,300 feet below sea level, it is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity and almost no fish or animal life whatsoever expect for some species of bacteria and algae. Fed by the Jordan river, with no outflow and an exceptionally high rate of evaporation the dead sea contains a high concentration of minerals. Visitors of the Dead Sea can float effortlessly in its waters as the dissolved mineral salts in the water’s density is way more than that of plain fresh water making us more buoyant when swimming in it.In fact, people are so buoyant in this water, it makes it kinda tough to actually swim,when you just bob like a cork, a perfect setting to kick back and read without the help of an inflatable.