Cybill Glisson

Written by Cybill Glisson

Modified & Updated: 21 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Are you ready to dive into icy waters for a good cause? The Polar Plunge is a popular event that challenges participants to plunge into freezing cold water, all in the name of charity. It is an exhilarating and adventurous experience that takes place in various locations around the world, attracting thrill-seekers, philanthropists, and daredevils alike.

In this article, we are going to explore 20 astounding facts about the Polar Plunge, from its origins to its record-breaking feats. Get ready to discover the history behind this icy tradition, the remarkable individuals who have taken the plunge, and the impact it has made on charitable organizations.

So, grab your towel and prepare to be amazed by these fascinating facts about the heart-pumping, bone-chilling Polar Plunge!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Polar Plunge is a freezing event where people jump into icy water for charity. It’s fun, wacky, and even dogs can join in! It’s a cool way to start the new year and help others.
  • The Polar Plunge is not just about the thrill, but also about raising money for charity. It’s a team-building activity, a life-changing experience, and a beloved tradition for people of all ages.
Table of Contents

The Polar Plunge is an annual event held in various locations around the world.

The Polar Plunge, also known as the Polar Bear Plunge, is a popular event where participants take a dip in a freezing body of water to raise money for charity.

The first recorded Polar Plunge took place in 1903 in Boston, Massachusetts.

What started as a small gathering of brave individuals has now evolved into a global phenomenon.

The water temperature during a Polar Plunge can be as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or even colder.

Participants must be prepared to endure icy conditions as they plunge into the freezing water.

Many Polar Plunges are held during the winter months, typically between December and February.

This adds an extra challenge for participants who have to contend with freezing temperatures both in and out of the water.

Participants in a Polar Plunge often dress up in wacky costumes.

From penguins to superheroes, participants let their creativity shine as they take the plunge.

The Polar Plunge is not just for humans – some events also allow dogs to take part!

This adds an adorable and heartwarming element to the already exciting event.

The Polar Plunge has become a popular way to celebrate New Year’s Day in many locations.

Starting the year off with a daring plunge into freezing water is seen as a symbolic and invigorating way to welcome the new year.

The oldest participant in a Polar Plunge was 101 years old.

Age is no barrier when it comes to taking part in this thrilling event.

The largest Polar Plunge event on record had over 25,000 participants.

The event took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a testament to the growing popularity of the Polar Plunge.

The Polar Plunge helps raise money for various charitable organizations.

Participants often collect pledges and donations from friends, family, and community members to support their plunge.

Some Polar Plunge events include additional activities such as costume contests, live music, and refreshments.

These festivities add to the excitement and enjoyment of the overall event.

The Polar Plunge has been featured in several films and TV shows.

Its unique and thrilling nature has caught the attention of the entertainment industry.

Polar Plunges have taken place in extreme locations such as Antarctica.

Brave individuals have plunged into the icy waters of the southernmost continent, adding an extra level of adventure to the event.

The Polar Plunge is not limited to just swimming events.

Some locations offer variations such as polar plunges from heights, where participants jump into freezing water from a platform or bridge.

The Polar Plunge has become a popular team-building activity for corporations and organizations.

Participating in the event together fosters camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment among colleagues.

Many Polar Plunge events donate the funds raised to support Special Olympics programs.

This adds a meaningful and philanthropic aspect to the event.

The Polar Plunge is not just for adults – there are often separate plunges specifically for children.

These events provide a fun and safe way for kids to experience the thrill of the Polar Plunge.

The water in some Polar Plunge events is so cold that it can cause instant headaches.

Participants must mentally prepare themselves for the shock of the freezing water.

The Polar Plunge can be a life-changing experience for many participants.

Conquering the fear of the freezing water and taking part in the event can lead to a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.

The Polar Plunge continues to grow in popularity and attract participants from all walks of life.

With its unique combination of thrill, charity, and community, the Polar Plunge has become a beloved tradition for many.


The Polar Plunge is an exhilarating event that combines adrenaline, thrill, and a good cause. With its icy waters and brave participants, it is no wonder that the Polar Plunge continues to captivate people around the world. Whether it’s the thrill of jumping into freezing waters, the camaraderie among participants, or the satisfaction of supporting a charitable organization, the Polar Plunge offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, if you’re ready to challenge yourself, make a difference, and have a memorable adventure, be sure to join the next Polar Plunge event near you!


1. What is the Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge is an event where participants jump into icy waters to raise funds for various charitable causes.

2. Where do Polar Plunge events take place?

Polar Plunge events can take place in lakes, rivers, or even in specially constructed pools filled with icy water.

3. Are there any age or health restrictions for participating?

Each event may have its own rules and restrictions, but typically participants must be of a certain age and in good health to ensure their safety.

4. Do I need any special equipment to participate?

Most events provide participants with a commemorative t-shirt or costume. It is also recommended to bring a towel and warm clothing to change into after the plunge.

5. Can I participate in a Polar Plunge without fundraising?

While fundraising is a key component of the Polar Plunge, some events may offer the option to pay a registration fee instead.

6. How can I get involved in the Polar Plunge?

To get involved, you can visit the official website or contact a local organization hosting the event to learn how to register as a participant or volunteer.

7. Is the water extremely cold in the Polar Plunge?

Yes, the water in the Polar Plunge is usually extremely cold, often near freezing temperatures, hence the name of the event.

8. Are there any safety measures in place during the event?

Organizers of Polar Plunge events take precautions to ensure the safety of participants, such as having medical professionals on-site and providing warming stations.

9. Can I bring my own spectators to watch the Polar Plunge?

Yes, spectators are usually welcome to cheer on participants from designated viewing areas.

10. What happens to the funds raised from the Polar Plunge?

The funds raised from the Polar Plunge are typically donated to charitable organizations that support causes such as special needs programs, healthcare, or environmental conservation.

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