Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Emileigh. Emileigh Wonders, “Whats the longest water slide ever made?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Emileigh!

Do you like thrilling rides like roller coasters? What water slides? Have you ever been on a ride that combines the best of these two worlds? If not, you need to try out a water coaster!

Traditional water slides pump water to the top. Then, the water carries people down to the bottom. The water reduces friction, allowing riders to slip quickly down the slide. Water slides often feature twists and turns that make them even more exciting. People may travel on a mat, a tube or nothing at all between them and the slide’s surface.

Water coasters add even more fun. They combine the wet fun of water slides with the thrills of roller coasters. In addition to descents, they also feature ascents. On water coasters, riders don’t usually slide directly on a surface. Instead, they travel in large, custom-made rafts. These often look like large tubes.

Water coasters use three different types of technology. Some are powered by high-speed conveyor belts. Others use water jets to force the raft along its path. The newest water coasters feature linear induction motors. These create special moving magnetic fields to cause motion and carry rafts through the ride. 

Where can you ride a water coaster? They can be found in amusement parks and water parks around the world. Splashin’ Safari, a water park in Santa Claus, Indiana, has two water coasters. The Wildebeest was the first to be built and it featured linear induction motor technology.

In 2012, the park added a second water coaster. It’s called The Mammoth and also features linear induction motors. Today, the Mammoth is the longest water coaster in the world!

Have you ever ridden a water coaster? Would you like to? Many people love the thrill of sliding over peaks and around curves on these exciting rides. Maybe you will too!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day takes a look at the wide variety of things people can be really good at!