Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chinese Swimming Pools, the Most Crowded (and Dirtiest) in the World

Swimming has long been a symbol of physical strength in China, yet outside the country's elite sports schools competitive swimming is not an option for ordinary Chinese who might want to take it up as a hobby. For most Chinese, pools are only a place to cool off, not to race. During the peak days of summer when the heat becomes unbearable, the pools explode into a riot of colors as thousands of people jump into it to escape the scorching heat. The popular slang expression used for going swimming is "boiling dumplings" because public pools are so crowded that all a person can do is stand on the spot.

Lack of swimming facilities is the main reason why pools are crowded in China, and because of this people cannot pursue swimming as a year-round hobby. “Many local governments cannot generate enough money from indoor pools to run them year-round”, said Zhang Yeduan, deputy head of the Hongkou Public Pool, Shanghai's largest.

But the number of facilities is increasing as incomes rise and privately run gyms with pools proliferate. Some of these pools are massive. The “Dead Sea of China” is a saltwater swimming pool located in Daying county, Sichuan province, inspired by the original Dead Sea in the Middle East. The pool covers an area of 30,000 square meters and accommodate up to 10,000 visitors at once. Another swimming pool in the Yao Stink district is able to accommodate a staggering 230,000 swimmers at one time.

china-crowded-pool-0

A gigantic breakfast bowl of human soup. Photo credit

Do these pictures make you nauseate? It should. According to China’s Health Ministry report announced last year, out of 5,639 public swimming pools tested in 24 Chinese provinces, 10 percent of the pools exceed the safe limit for urea levels. In case you don’t know, urea comes from urine.

Research also determined that the total percentage of bacteria in a swimming pool can reach 92.3 percent while the rate of coli bacteria can be as high as 96.9 percent. The consequences of this can be fatal. In 2008, one man died and 3,158 swimmers critically poisoned when they swallowed the pool's water which was laced with the urine and fecal matter of 47,000 swimmers in the gigantic Mao Mao Municipal Pool in Beijing.

A toxicologist noted after taking a sample of the water that urine and fecal matter consisted of nearly 90% of the mix.

crowded-swimming-pools-0

Photo credit

china-crowded-pool-1

Photo credit

china-crowded-pool-2

Photo credit

china-crowded-pool-3

Photo credit

crowded-swimming-pools-4

Photo credit

crowded-swimming-pools-5

Photo credit

crowded-swimming-pools-6

Photo credit

Crowded pools are also common in Japan. National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita, who captured pictures of a typical summer day at one of the largest waterpark, the Tokyo Summerland, told My Modern Met:

It seems a number of viewers are horrified, appalled, nauseated and generally grossed out by the sheer number of swimmers squeezed into these mega-pools.

There's no question that given the heat, humidity and population of Tokyo in the summer, the throngs at any swimming pool there are going to, by definition, test the limits of crowd control and sanitation. Japan, however, is prepared for this and manages to keep everyone happy and cool no matter how jam-packed the pool - by moving the water rather than the swimmers. While not exactly conducive to laps, giant wave pools surge with swells a meter or higher, drenching stationary bathers so they don’t need to swim to cool off. Other pools feature circular courses with a current that keeps everyone moving together in the same, very orderly, direction. And of course, Japanese people, by tradition and habit, are arguably the cleanest – not to mention the most cleanliness-conscious – in the world. The water in these pools is clean enough to drink!

Yeah, right!

Keep this in mind: if you are visiting China or Japan, stay out of public pools.

tokyo-summerland-crowd-3

Photo credit: Michael Yamashita

tokyo-summerland-crowd-0

Photo credit: Michael Yamashita

tokyo-summerland-crowd-4

Photo credit: Michael Yamashita

tokyo-summerland-crowd-5

Photo credit: Michael Yamashita

crowded-swimming-pools-3

Photo credit

66 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. are these the same people who walk around with bloody masks on their faces to stop germs ???

      Delete
    2. You realise there are 1.6 billion Chinese people and 2 billion or so East Asian people? So no, I imagine these are not the same dozen or so random Asian people you have seen wearing masks on the television.

      Delete
  2. i have a hard enough time keeping an eye on my children in our own pool, i feel for these people and realize how much i take for granted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. especially b/c all these kids look the same

      Delete
    2. just like when i was in florida pool, all the kids look the same...

      Delete
  3. I'd go for a swim >.>

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought this was a joke. They're afraid of getting a tan, but they'll jump into an overcrowded pool? They must have superhuman immune systems!

    ReplyDelete
  5. china is my idea of hell on earth and this story confirms it. Awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check out North Korea, redefines hell on Earth

      Delete
    2. At least they are very clean, these Chinese are filthy pigs

      http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=vice+north+korea+&oq=vice+norht&gs_l=youtube.1.0.0i10l10.1069.1695.0.3235.4.4.0.0.0.0.162.511.0j4.4.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.sLMcYQ1f4zY

      Delete
  6. You have to see it to believe it. AND EVEN THEN...

    ReplyDelete
  7. "urine and fecal matter consisted of nearly 90% of the mix."

    That sounds slightly spurious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I find that a little hard to swallow!

      Delete
  8. how do people not drown en masse pressed together like that?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my god, the first pictures of hell!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This doesn't make sense: "Research also determined that the total percentage of bacteria in a swimming pool can reach 92.3 percent while the rate of coli bacteria can be as high as 96.9 percent."

    Does this mean that the pool is 92.3% bacteria by volume? Because that would be hideous.

    Interesting article otherwise. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. coli is 96.9 percent of the 92.3 percent total bacteria level.
      Statistics... always weirder that life :)

      Delete
    2. Taken as written, this says that the pools are filled with a mixture of about eleven parts bacteria to one part water.

      Delete
  11. All the pee that must be in that water!!! Ewwww!

    ReplyDelete
  12. They would have so much more room if they ditched the inner tubes, but that's probably the only way t keep other people outside of your "bubble".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tubes are used because no one knows how to swim, remember.

      Delete
  13. really putting the "poo" in pool.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Regarding the last part, you do realize that China and Japan are not the same country, nor are they run by the same government. The last quip ("
    Yeah, right! Keep this in mind: if you are visiting China or Japan, stay out of public pools.") about Japanese pools is therefore superfluous. The toxicology tests, diseases, and the death refer to Chinese pools. The only information you bring in about Japanese pools is praising them, and their visitors, so I don't understand why you advise against people visiting pools in Japan.

    My reply is based only on the information that the author provided, and I am pointing out a discrepancy in the logic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! The author gives examples for China, and then just throws Japan in to that too! lol The only source he has to go on completely states the opposite and the author has done nothing to prove their own opinion.

      Delete
  15. Where are they going with those tubes?

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Yeah, right!

    Keep this in mind: if you are visiting China or Japan, stay out of public pools."

    Um, China and Japan are different countries...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Why are they called swimmers when all they can do is stand in one place?

    ReplyDelete
  18. what does it mean exactly: "the total percentage of bacteria in a swimming pool can reach 92.3 percent"

    that would be a solid, or at least a slushy goo. only 7.7% water?

    ReplyDelete
  19. why is nearly every person in these photos using an inner tube?

    ReplyDelete
  20. "if you are visiting China or Japan, stay out of public pools"

    So despite suggesting that Japan's pools are perfectly clean, and I imagine they're as sanitary as any western pool (if not more so from what I've seen), you've decided to deride them as well?

    ReplyDelete
  21. The Nat Geo article was about Japan. The water quality testing was done in China. Last I heard these were two different places.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The crowdedness is enough to warrant a "stay away from pools " warning about Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Soylent Green...

    ReplyDelete
  24. What is the incidence of rape in these pools?

    ReplyDelete
  25. No wonder China had to implement a one child per family limit........

    ReplyDelete
  26. "if you are visiting China or Japan, stay out of public pools"

    I think this line is saying to stay away from the pools in Japan due to how insanely crowded they seem to be. And of course for those Chinese pools, it seems you'd have to be able to survive the crowds AND be immune to every bacterial infection in the universe.

    ReplyDelete
  27. (•_•)

    ( •_•)>⌐■-■

    (⌐■_■)

    all pee and no H.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Someone could drown in one of those pools and no one would know it for days.

    ReplyDelete
  29. With the number of people in those pools, I would think that if everyone didn't have their own tube it would be very easy for a person to end up buried under the crowd around them and drowned. The tubes might seem like they're just taking up room, but I would bet they probably help keep everyone's heads above water while they're being pressed in and shoved around like that.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think I will stay in my private hot tub (that i Keep cold) in Singapore. Unreal - think I will pass on swimming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey singapore isn't in china you white individual.

      Delete
    2. omg lol what the heck, why are you going to Singapore when you don't even know where it is. We have enough public swimming pools and a small enough population. Besides you can just swim in your hotel's pool -_-

      Delete
    3. lol, you guys are funny. did she say she was in China? nope :) She's just stating that here in Singapore at least she has the option of having your own 'pool' :) Her seeing and reading the article only made her fear public pools in general I think. I like the public pools, they usually under-utilised and cost only a few dollars to enter.

      Delete
  31. this is so grossed, after they swam in that pool they all have the types of skin disease...im not going to swim in there ever!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I swam in public pool in Hokkaido, Japan, in late '80's. no way was it as crowded as these. my professor friend swam there often for his health. We could do laps.
    But how sad that there are too many people now!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Let us set fire to these hellish pits of pure communistic piss!

    ReplyDelete
  34. 1 question, why the hell are they yseing rubber rings?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Imagine how many perverts and pedos just swim around having fun feeling up young ladies and children? I wonder how many girls get pregnant while swimming...

    ReplyDelete
  36. So, 92.3% bacteria + 90% urine and fecal matter... That's a 182.3% total. Great stats! Even assuming that part of the 90% excrements is bacteria, we're still over 100% here. Where's the WATER in all this?!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will become a great engineer. No doubt about it. ;)

      Delete
    2. if you look on the picture, seem all the people in the pool are the bacteria

      Delete
  37. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa like big buts and ia can not lie

    ReplyDelete
  38. Saves money by not having to build diving boards.

    ReplyDelete
  39. what ever happed to a max of ppl for safety reason. in north america they limmit ppl #s for regulation. they dont seem to care. and no lifeguards could help anyone in the middle.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh look! Human fruit loops!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. why must squeezed in one bloody pool....whats the use of south china sea....lolz

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yeah, 100% asians, and No foreigners, yet white countries are SUPPOSED to be mixed with everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow your amazing to determine that they are 100% Asian by looking at those photos. I think you'll find a lot of "white" countries that are mostly white but I wouldn't make a stupid claim like 100% because that would be ludicrous.

      Delete

Comment moderation is enabled. It may take a while for your comments to appear.