Travel

Whoa, there's a secret pool in the middle of the Mojave Desert

If there's one thing holding public pools back in their quest to become the world's most popular Summer oasis, it's the fact that they're public -- weirdos of all stripes are free to let their freak flags fly, leaving you to wonder why you didn't just go to the beach instead.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a public pool that wasn't overflowing with riffraff? Or at least free of kids peeing in the shallow end. As it turns out, Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia's created exactly that in the wastes of the Mojave Desert; you just need to know where to look.

It's called Social Pool, and -- just like Walter White's cash hoard -- you'll need exact GPS coordinates to find it; fortunately, those coordinates (as well as the keys to unlock the pool) are available at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood.

Visitors are warned that there aren't any roads or signs leading directly to the pool, and that they'll have to do a bit of hiking from the nearest road in order to reach it. You'll definitely wanna bring some sunblock, too. And maybe one of those cool hats that makes it look like you're fighting in the desert during WWII.

Once unlocked, the top of the pool slides off to become a small deck of sorts, perfect for sunbathing (or sunburning, if you forgot to bring the aforementioned sunblock. Or are Irish!).

Social Pool's only big enough to accommodate three or four people at a time, but it does have a solar-powered filter and floating octopus thermometer -- both nice touches.

It's up to visitors to clean Barsuglia's pool with a provided skimmer, and while you'd think it'd already be full of tumbleweeds and javelina poop, people have been surprisingly responsible so far. Presumably, if you're bothering to track this thing down in the middle of the desert, you're not the kind of dude who's going to vandalize it. Or are you?!?

Social Pool's open to visitors until September 30th, seven days a week. You can learn more about the artistic intentions behind the refreshing sculpture here.


Gianni Jaccoma is an editorial assistant for Thrillist Travel, and his nearest public pool is an utter travesty. Follow him on a pilgrimage into the desert @gjaccoma.