fitness · swimming

Answers to summer water sports questions you may have never thought of

I love summer. I love swimming in summer. I love lakes, ocean, streams, and pools.

I also love water– fresh, salty, calm, wavy, big, small, still, and fizzy.

Which got me to thinking: are there are fizzy-water sports around?

Person’s feet in water with lots of bubbles. As close as I could come to swimming in fizzy water.

Of course not. That’s just silly, Catherine.

But maybe not. I found a bunch of questions on Quora about swimming pool activities that I thought it was time to share with readers, just in case. So here we go…

Q1. What would happen if you tried to swim in a swimming pool filled entirely with carbonated water?

  • A1-1. you’d die because of all the carbon dioxide on the surface of the water.
  • A1-2: you’d float on the principle that all those little bubbles would hold you up.
  • A1-3: you’d sink/drown, because gases in water reduce its density.

Take-home message: the jury’s out on that one.

Q2: What would happen if you drank a lot of swimming pool water?

  • A2-1: if you swallowed too much, you might drown.
  • A2-2: If the pool has chlorine, it might be fine (chlorine kills bacteria), or it might make your stomach upset (as chlorine kills gut bacteria too).
  • A2-3: don’t drink pool water. Or lake water, or ocean water, etc.

Take-home message: just don’t drink pool water. It’s icky.

Q3: What would happen if you jumped in a pool filled with peanut butter:

  • A3-1: it depends on what kind. Ones with fewer additives will have a layer of oil on top, although it would be shallow. So you could hang out in the oil layer.
  • A3-2: you’d be limited as to swim strokes; breast stroke recommended.

Take-home message: unless you’re 7, I can’t believe you’re asking me this.

Q4: what would happen if I swam in a swimming pool during a lightning storm?

  • A4-1: you’d probably die.
  • A4-2: even if you didn’t die, you’d become known as the most foolhardy person ever.
  • A4-3: no one would ever invite to their pool again.


Q5: has anyone actually died from being electrocuted in a swimming pool during a thunder storm?

A5: Uh, no. I found this thorough and lighthearted investigative journalism piece about lightning strike risk at outdoor swimming pools. No one could cite evidence or studies or surveys or anything. But they stood firm on the dictum: no swimming outside during a thunder storm. However, swimming indoors seems fine.

Take-home message: there’s an undocumented rule, issued from the pool-safety cabal about not being in outdoor pools during thunderstorms. Still, better safe than sorry.

Dear Readers– do you have any questions or worries about popular summer pool myths? Put them in the comments, and I’ll get to work on them, as soon as I’ve toweled dry.

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