Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lavender. Lavender Wonders, “Who Invented The Hammock?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lavender!

Imagine you’re a castaway on a deserted island. How will you survive? You’ll need shelter, of course. And you’ll need to find food and water! Then, you may start looking for ways to make yourself more comfortable. We can think of one thing that could help with that. You can use it to relax and even sleep. What are we talking about? A hammock, of course!

Even if you’re not stranded far away, a hammock can be a WONDERful addition to any backyard. When the summer sun shines and the cooling breezes blow, there’s no better place to be. Nothing beats relaxing in a hammock with a book and a cool glass of lemonade!

Most hammocks are simple slings made of cloth or netting. They’re usually suspended between two trees, although two unmoving points—called anchors—are all you need. Some people like to sit in a hammock and swing. Others prefer to sleep or relax.

Hammocks have been around for hundreds of years. No one knows for sure who made the very first one. However, historians think they started with the indigenous peoples of Middle and South America. And they were originally made to keep people safe as they slept. That’s because hammocks hang above the ground. This keeps many dangerous animals and insects from harming people during sleep.

In the late 1500s, hammocks became popular among sailors aboard ships. They made it more comfortable to sleep on the boat. That’s because they could gently swing with the motion of the ship. Hammocks were also more convenient than beds. They could easily be taken down when not in use. This helped sailors make the most of open space on the ship.

After his voyages to the Caribbean, Christopher Columbus brought several hammocks back to Europe. Today, you can find hammocks used all over the world. And they aren’t just popular for relaxing in the backyard. They are also used by many hikers and campers.

Hammocks come in all sorts of styles and materials today. You can find traditional styles made of rope or netting. Others are made of the latest high-tech fabrics. Some hammocks come with their own self-supporting stand. That way, you can relax even without any trees around!

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

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day takes an up-close look at a rare animal. How rare? Read on to find out!