Lets be honest, gas is funny. We know this from the countless kids fart books that are now readily available. Gas equals hilarity, but unless the Gasser has eaten something really toxic, bystanders usually remain conscious. Enter Cameron’s Laughing Gas Pool.
Once again, I am writing about Sulphur Point, on the southern end of Lake Rotorua. Opposite the Coffee Pot (if you haven’t read my previous posts, don’t mistake this for a local coffee shop), sits Cameron’s Laughing Gas Pool. This is a pool of historical (and hysterical) significance… I really crack myself up sometimes.
Cameron’s was reputed to have therapeutic benefits due to its high mineral content, specifically sulphur. These minerals emit a strong odour that can be easily detected when nearby the pool. According to historical reports, the mineral pool also emitted gases that, upon meeting and mingling, produced nitrous oxide aka laughing gas. The nitrous oxide had two effects – swimmers would either dissolve into unruly hysterics or faint. Perhaps the ropes at the Coffee Pot would be usual here (read my previous posts, for goodness sakes!).
Suffering from gout? Take a dip in the Coffee Pot. Depressed about suffering from gout? Have a swim in Cameron’s. Between the two pools, all physical and mental health issues will be remedied. As for the fainters, they can enjoy a brief moment of freedom from their maladies.
Apparently people weren’t that fun back in the day and started funnelling water into a nearby hut to reduce the risk of inhaling gases. Slightly riskier folk would simply swim at the end of the pool that was upwind.
Although a Laughing Gas Pool would probably make the world a more peaceful place, swimming is no longer permitted. The ground surface also has the classic Sulphur Point instability, so nowadays it’s best to get your nitrous oxide kicks from the dentist.