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  • This is Taiwan's largest lake.

  • And every year, once a year, for the last 35 years,

  • 20,000 people,

  • a third of whom don't really know how to swim at all,

  • wade across this massive body of water.

  • This is Taiwan's annual swimming carnival.

  • The event is a 2-mile swim with only one objective.

  • And if swimmers can't make it?

  • For an island, Taiwan has ranked consistently low

  • in swimming proficiency.

  • In 2009, only 42 percent of students said they could swim.

  • The fear of water dates back to the 1940s,

  • when the coastline was restricted

  • due to fear of mainland Chinese invasion.

  • And for that reason, everyone is required to swim in teams,

  • wear an official swimming cap,

  • and carry around a flotation device.

  • People get really into it and bring things like balloons,

  • snacks,

  • facekinis,

  • flags,

  • even their phones.

This is Taiwan's largest lake.

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