Naval Surface Warfare Center in Potomac, Maryland

On most counts the U.S. Navy is a deadly serious business with its nuclear submarines, supercarriers, and destroyer mounted railguns. But one of its more whimsical facilities is landlocked in suburban Maryland: a half-mile long indoor swimming pool run by the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

The so-called David Taylor Model Basin is normally used to conduct naval architecture tests (like a watery wind tunnel), but once every other year since 1989 it has also hosted the International Submarine...

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