The deepest swimming pool in the world may be built at the University of Essex in Colchester, south-eastern England.
The project, which was conceived by diving company Blue Abyss, is set to cost $60m, a proportion of which was raised by crowdfunding.
The pool will be 40m wide and have a maximum depth of 50m; this is 8m deeper than the previous holder of the record, the Y-40 diving pool in Montegrotto Terme, Italy. A standard Olympic diving pool is 5m deep.
The pool will be used for recreational divers as well as education and research. It also has the potential to train astronauts for life in zero gravity.
The pool will be located in a complex with six specialist training rooms, a 120-bed hotel and a 150-seat lecture theatre. Â
High-definition video is available, with feeds from the pool allowing all training and exercises to be recorded for subsequent evaluation by trainees and staff. Â
Essex University is in "exploratory discussions" concerning the development of the project. Bryn Morris, the university’s registrar, is quoted by the BBC as saying the pool idea fitted in very well with the university’s strengths.
John Vickers, managing director of Blue Abyss, said: "All the ingredients are here; the location near to Stansted Airport and the North Sea offshore industry via Harwich; a superb campus site and an excellent research base within the university’s academic departments."
It is unknown when construction will begin.
Image via the Blue Abyss Facebook page.