The World’s Tallest Water Slide Was a Terrible, Tragic Idea

At nearly 169 feet tall, Verrückt—which means “insane” in German—was taller than Niagara Falls. Riders flew down the world’s tallest water slide at 70 miles per hour, challenging the laws of physics. The attraction was the pride and joy of Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City. Then, on August 7, 2016, Verrückt came to a swift end when 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated on the ride. What went wrong?

“The Water Slide” was directed by Nathan Truesdell. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.