A rock solid appreciation for hot tubs, I'd wager, is pretty much a universal thing. I mean, what's not to love about a good hot tub, amiright? Well, apparently... there are things. While they may masquerade around as seemingly lovely, gurgling pools of warmth in which to soak when our dogs are truly barking, I'm here to inform you that hot tubs are gross. Gross AF. They are cesspools of filth and hot plates for all sorts of colorful germs. (Sorry — too much?)
It's funny then to consider just how sexual the connotation of hot tubs has become over time — thanks largely, I'm sure, to every episode of the Jersey Shore that ever aired. But I guess it makes sense; I mean, if you take a half-naked dip in one with anyone you're even remotely attracted to, things are bound to happen. Sadly, none of my submissions to join various MTV reality TV shows were ever accepted, so I don't exactly know what that's like firsthand... but you know; I get it.
Anyway, I digress. As for what other stuff goes on inside hot tubs, consider these eight truly disgusting (but totally true) facts I uncovered — and please accept my apology in advance if I've totally ruined them for you for life:
There Is Actual Sh*t In There
Get this: According to the Centers for Disease Control, everyone walks through this nasty, nasty world with about 0.14 grams of fecal matter attached to their person. That's on average, folks. And when these sh*t-covered — including you and me, because none of us are safe — set up camp in a small, simmering pool, those 0.14 grams join the shit people broth. Sorry.
...And Sh*t Creatures
Oh yeah — it's about to get even worse. Itty bitty parasites known as cryptosporidium flourish in public swimming areas, and are often found inside hot tubs and whirlpools. In fact, they can survive up to 10 days in chlorinated water, which means it's pretty hard to get rid of the things. But here's where it gets even grosser: If you accidentally swallow even just a little water while lounging in the hot tub, the tiny bugs swim into your small intestine where they will lodge into those walls. After hanging around in there for a while, the parasites flush themselves out, via a super serious bout of diarrhea. Fun times.
They Might Give You A UTI
Once, I was complaining to a dude coworker about a UTI, when he empathized with this little overshare: "Yeah," he said. "I got one from a hot tub before. F*cking horrible." Since he was being nice and trying to commiserate with me, I didn't want to probe any further. Instead, I later Googled, and — yep, microscopic critters who thrive in hot tubs can give you a UTI.
It Could Infect You With A Skin Rash
Another gross thing that may lurk in your hot tub is a microscopic germ called pseudomonas aeruginosa, which wriggles around in the warm water gleefully, too tiny for the naked eye to see. It often attaches itself to your bathing suit and gives you an extra tragic rash in the form of slightly red and itchy bumps. In some cases, though, those tiny bumps raise themselves up into little blistery bulbs full of pus. (Sexy.) Luckily, this one really only happens in not-so-well maintained hot tubs, so there is a way to avoid them.
Boning In One Increases Your Chances Of A Yeast Infection
Chlorine messes up your vaginal pH balance, putting you at a greater risk of a yeast infection, which means getting any in your hooha might come with a price. And guess what's really good at shoving chlorinated water up your most holy of orifices? A dick.
People Have Died In Them
This is not a drill. Last December, a woman found a corpse at Queens' Spa Castle in a hot tub. She felt something with her foot. That something was an 84-year-old man who slipped beneath the surface, where he drowned. That isn't even the only recent bubbly-related death in New York, though. Last April, a Brooklyn couple died in their own hot tub. Although, to be fair, there was allegedly also a huge, empty bottle of vodka found nearby, so we can't exactly just blame the hot tub here.
People Pee In Them Like, All The Time (But You Already Knew That)
OK, so this one's not big surprise. People pee in hot tubs, as freely as they pee in pools. But according to the CDC, it's not always so harmless. When you mix pee, sweat, and feces together with chlorine, it actually creates something called chloramine, which can cause symptoms like coughing fits and red, itchy eyes. Steer clear by showering off after your warm soak — which you're probably going to want to do anyway from now on, given all the other things I've noted on this list.