Embassy Gardens, Ballymore
In these dog days of summer for a good chunk of the world (no offense to dogs; it's just an expression), we thought it would be an appropriate time to check out some of the unusual ways people can beat the heat. We begin with the world's first suspended swimming pool designed to span two buildings. The 115-foot-high "sky pool," designed by Arup Associates, will become part of Embassy Gardens, owned by the Ballymore Group in London. Swimmers will be able to do the breast stroke across an 82-foot span with 7.8 inches of glass between them and certain death. I's an ambitious project and the view from the street (inset) will certainly draw a lot of attention from passers-by.
The world's largest swimming pool is a highlight of the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile. Completed in 2006, the artificial lagoon occupies nearly 20 acres and is more than half of a mile long.VIDEO: Stop Peeing in the Pool!
Hanging Gardens Ubud
If you happen to be in Bali, you'll be within reach of the Hanging Gardens Ubud swimming pool. Perched high atop a jungle drop, the split-level pool has an "infinity"-horizon edge and boasts a wall of solidified volcanic ash. Nice swim, if you can get it.
Ali Ihsan Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
If you skipped Bali and headed for Turkey on your vacation instead, you might be able to dip a toe in the famous travertine pools in Pamukkale. Travertines are terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.
Who says you need good weather to swim? In good or bad outdoor elements, the splashy fun remains the same inside Tropical Island, the biggest indoor water park in the world, in Brand, Germany. It was built inside a former airplane hangar.Swimming Apes Take to the Pool
City Beach NYC
New York may have a floating beach outside its collective window, if City Beach NYC comes to fruition. The idea will be to build a beach on a barge in the Hudson River. Organizers hope to launch the floating fun spot by 2016, if they can crowdfund their way to the starting capital.
Julien Hekimian/Getty Images
From a planned barge project to one that's been floating for eight years, we see the Josephine Baker swimming pool on the Seine in Paris. It was named after the American artist and civil rights activist who died in Paris as a French citizen.VIDEO: Why Your Skin Looks Like a Prune After Swimming
Not to be outdone, Germany too has made creative use of a barge. Shown here, Berlin's futuristic Badeschiff public bath floating on the Spree.
Here's another infinity pool that might be a tough swim for those afraid of heights. It sits atop the Marina Bay Sands hotel towers in Singapore.World's Largest Wave Machine Planned
Surf's up, or at least it will be. The world's first publicly accessible artificial surfing lagoon is planned for the village of Dolgarrog, in the Conwy Valley of North Wales. The Surf Snowdonia park will generate waves up to 6 feet high in a pool nearly 1,000 feet long.
Gunter Marx Photography/CORBIS
Of course, there's no law that says swimming has to be done in warm weather. You could be surrounded by snow and still take a nice dip. Here people enjoy a therapeutic soak in the mineral hot springs at Banff Upper Hot Springs, Banff National Park, Canada.PHOTOS: Unbelievable Cliff Dives
Perhaps mud runs were getting a little blase, or the summer heat was getting to be too much for dry-wick fabric: Whatever the reason, the newest trend in road running is naked races, according to Runner’s World.
Almost 30 races bill themselves as nude-only events, the magazine reports, including the National Championship of Nude Running and a 5K Nude Racing Series in Texas and Oklahoma.
“There’s no question there’s a bucket-list mentality to this,” Pete Williams, director of the Caliente Bare Dare 5K, told Runner’s World.
Although the races may be just on the verge of mainstream, they’re not completely new: the Bare Buns Fun Run in Washington is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month.
“It was so much fun — and every fear I had just went away,” said Whitney Lasseter, who set a personal record in the Caliente Bare Dare 5K. “Our bodies were designed to be naked. It’s our minds we have to tell to shut up.”
Some first-timer tips: Wear shoes and a watch, and don’t worry about your mom finding out: Many races don’t report full names.
Still not extreme enough? Try Mud, Sweat, and Boobs, believed to be the first U.S. naked obstacle race. It debuted in June.
“Of course, there’s no razor wire or anything like that to catch on dangly bits,” said race director Rich Gilbreath.
Photo: Getty Images