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Science of screaming investigated on Stratford slide

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 October 2016

Mia Harris screams as she arrives at the bottom of The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit (Picture: David Azia for London Legacy Development Corporation)

Mia Harris screams as she arrives at the bottom of The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit (Picture: David Azia for London Legacy Development Corporation)

David Azia for London Legacy Development Corporation

When you’re on a fast ride, do you scream or sit in silence?

Professor Brendan Walker carried out research into the effects of screaming on the slide (Picture: David Azia for London Legacy Development Corporation)Professor Brendan Walker carried out research into the effects of screaming on the slide (Picture: David Azia for London Legacy Development Corporation)

If you’re part of the former group, your excitement level will be 43 per cent higher than non-screamers.

That’s according to research by Prof Brendan Walker, who put 24 volunteers through their paces by sending them down the Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit with the instruction to either scream as loud as possible or make no noise at all.

He said: “Screaming has an intoxicating physiological effect on the body, as we force large volumes of air from our lungs at an exceptional rate.

“If done in fun, screaming as you ride not only has the power to increase your thrill levels on The Slide, but also the thrill levels of those waiting to slide next.”

Prof Walker, whose Thrill Laboratory team works to help theme parks in creating new rides, added that screaming on the slide can also create a feeling similar to that of intoxication – which is why people sometimes feel dizzy when they get off.

He said: “In the first few months of opening, 78 per cent of people using the slide scream, and 22pc of users remain silent.

“We wanted to know whether screaming loudly had an important role in how people feel on the slide.”

The volunteers, aged between eight and 73, wore bio-monitoring wristbands to measure their heart rate and sweat levels, and those screaming also had their decibel levels measured. Those who screamed demonstrated greater excitement in both heart rate and galvanic skin response throughout the ride.

Mia Harris, nine, was among the youngest participants. She said: “It was really fun but I never normally scream that much.”


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