Water parks, swimming pools, are other aquatic-themed attractions are meant be fun for people of all ages, a place to let your hair down, relax, and just have a good time under the sun. Unfortunately, not all of these places are created equally, as the following list of the most terrifying water attractions in the world can attest. It's one thing to visit a water attraction to swim some laps or kick back, or, in the case of a water park, to go for a thrill-ride on some aquatic amusement. But it's quite another to have the bejesus scared out of you because the attraction is so poorly designed or constructed.
Not surprisingly, some of these aquatic nightmares have been shut down because of safety issues. Still, bafflingly, others remain in full operation. Which is either a testament to some very lucky property owners and marketing whizzes…or to the public's dubious need to scare themselves sh*tless any chance they get.
Let's take a deep dive and look at some of the most frightening water attractions on the planet.
Bondi Baths - Bondi Icebergs Club
The Bondi Baths have been declared everything from one of the most gorgeous swimming pools in the world to one of the most ill-conceived aquatic attractions imaginable. Situated on the southern end of Sydney's Bondi Beach, the Baths is a swimming pool literally built in the ocean. That means that the waves regularly come splashing over the sides and into the pool. It also means that regular, chlorinated pool water is impossible to maintain in the Baths, so it's filled with saltwater (why not just swim in the ocean?). There are even stories of sharks being tossed into the pool during high tide and becoming trapped. Probably not the most relaxing or idyllic way to spend a leisurely afternoon.
The Joule Hotel Pool - The Joule Hotel
The infinity pool located in Dallas' Joule Hotel is cantilevered eight feet out from the rest of the building, which essentially creates a pool that dangles hundreds of feet in the air. To make the experience even scarier, the end of the pool that juts out from the building is made entirely of glass. There's also bar service in the pool area, so that may explain the popularity of The Joule's mysterious hanging pool. If all this sounds a bit unsettling, that seems to be just what the hotel is going for. According to The Joule's website, the pool "gives guests the sensation of swimming out beyond the hotel’s edge."
The Cannonball Loop - Action Park
Quite possibly the worst water slide ever conceived, the Cannonball Loop that used to stand at Action Park in Vernon Township, New Jersey, is exactly what the name implies: a water slide with a loop in it. The slide was only open for a month in the summer of 1985, after which it was permanently closed because of the amount of injuries. Some people didn't quite make the loop and fell off the top, because of, you know, gravity. Other, more fortunate souls (just?) had their backs scratched up by all the sand and dirt that collected at the bottom of the loop by, again, gravity. Also, confoundingly, there was no pool at the bottom of the slide. Disoriented and often injured Cannonball-ers were greeted by nothing more than a wet mat to stop their downward trajectory.
Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls
With a name like Devil's Pool, you know you're in for one helluva nightmare. On the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, perched 355 feet in the air, is a natural infinity pool right where the falls go over the rock wall. Once a swimmer gets in the pool, there is only a thin layer of rock separating them from a sheer drop off the face of the falls. At most times of the year, entering the Devil's Pool would mean almost certain death, but for a brief window of time each year, water levels are low enough that hundreds of people press their luck and jump into this horrifying little body of water.