Riding on a roller coaster really can remove kidney stones...wait...WHAT??
This is the conclusion of research that has won this year's Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine. For starters, what is a "Ig Nobel Prize" ?
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative - and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology. The Ig Nobels are spoof prizes that are published in the Annals of Improbable Research. Many of the topics recognised in the awards actually have a serious point to them. The awards ceremony is held at Harvard University in Cambridge, US.
So coming back to roller coaster rides and kidney stones. The US researchers who carried out the work recommend that those afflicted with the condition should regularly use the theme park attractions.
The inspiration behind the roller-coaster research began several years ago when one of Prof David Wartinger's patients at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine returned from a holiday trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. The patient reported that one of his kidney stones became dislodged after a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain ride.
Wondering whether it was caused by the ride or a coincidence, the patient went on the ride several more times and each time a stone popped out. Intrigued by the story, Prof Wartinger built a silicone model of his patient's renal system, including artificial kidney stones, and took it with him on numerous rides.
He discovered that Big Thunder Mountain was indeed effective - more so than the scarier rides such as Space Mountain or Rock 'n' Roller Coaster which involve prolonged drops.
Prof Wartinger concluded that this was because Big Thunder Mountain involves more up and down and side to side movements that "rattle" the rider.
Know more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45513012