When did infinity pools become a 'thing'?

Yes, I know that infinity pools were probably invented by Ogg the Builder Cave Man a quarter of a million years ago; but they didn’t seem to be a ‘thing’ until this century. I don’t know when I noticed them being discussed/depicted, but I’m going to guess ten years ago.

When did infinity pools become so popular that everyone has heard of them, and every travel/luxury commercial shows them?

Og the cave builder! No need to stop at such a recent event:


I don’t know when the first hollywood star put in such a pool but it was decades ago:

This is the first that I heard of them, and I had to look up what it meant. My first thought was that it meant a pool shaped so that you could keep swimming loops indefinitely without having to change directions.

That’s not an infinity pool!

I found an article from a 1992 Orange County Register which uses the term and explains what it means[sup]1[/sup], and a 1993 Los Angeles Times article which uses the term with scare quotes around the word infinity[sup]2[/sup], suggesting that it was a new term to the writer or they expected it to be a new term to the reader.

FWIW, the same search yielded a 1970 article from the Shanghai Daily which uses the term without any explanation at all, suggesting that it originated much earlier.

[sup]1[/sup]“Dinner tables were sprinkled around an infinity pool (designed to look as if it’s spilling over the hillside), guarded by a fountain of swans.”

[sup]2[/sup]“They include an ‘infinity’ pool with concrete columns running along its edge, designed so the water overflows into a basin below and then is pumped back into the pool.”

Endless pools. It’s a swimmer’s “treadmill”.

Yes, I’m sure they’ve been around a while; and I’m sure the term has been used for decades. It’s only somewhat recently though, that they seem to have become a ‘thing’.

I agree with SanVito, Bruce isn’t in an infinity pool, but it looks like it might have been a fore-runner.

I found an article dating back to 2010 declaring that infinity pools were basically getting passé, and that they got their start in the 1990s: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/11/peter-mandelson-infinity-pools

It may be that they didn’t become known to the hoi polloi until about the time of the article, when it went from something only high end luxury vacation spots had to something every hotel claiming to be nice had to have.

Interesting. I was thinking more in terms of pools built in the shape of a circle, or maybe of a figure 8. That of course would take more space.

Was this question triggered by the news about the Insanity Pool?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_pool

The first time I heard the phrase around here is when the local suburbs started adding stuff to their municipal swimming pools and calling them Water Parks. That would have been some time in the '90s here in the Midwest. I expect SoCal, Arizona, or Texas had them at least 10 years earlier.

Why did I *know *that was going to be Devil’s Pool?

the Christian Science Center in Boston was designed in 1968 and included an “infinity pool” type reflecting pool, in which the water ran off over an edge on all four sides*. Nobody was supposed to swim in it – it’s pretty shallow – but plenty of people have taken off their shoes and waded in it. It was filled and opened in 1972, but the design had been done four years previously

  • That means it’s a 360-degree “insanity Pool” long in advance of the one Darren Garrison linked to, although it’s not on top of a building or meant for swimming.

Holy crap! How many people have gone over that thing?


"In the US, architect John Lautner has been credited as one of the first to come up with an infinity pool design in the early 1960s. He included infinity pools in various residential projects, and also created the vanishing-edge pool in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971). "

I just watched the scene and I don’t think Bambi and Thumper’s pool is a vanishing edge pool at all. When they are not splashing around it has 1 to 2 inches of freeboard.


Um, how do you get out of that pool?!

That darker section in the middle goes down to a lower level. You swim down there, and then step to the side, out of the column of water and onto the floor.

As far as I’m aware, no-one’s died at Devil’s Pool. People have died after going over other places close to it.

It’s just a concept, but from what I’ve read, something like a conning tower rises up.