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Astronomical Loads Crawl to the Top of the World

Its name practically says it all.

The Verrückt water slide – meaning insane in German – invites thrill seekers to take the plunge from 17 stories above.

“It’s like jumping off the Empire State Building. It’s the scariest thing I’ve done,” said creator Jeff Henry to USA Today.

Located at Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas, the ride opened in June after months of delays because of safety concerns.

“We had issues on the engineering side,” said Henry. “A lot of our math was based on roller coasters at first, and that didn’t translate to a water slide like this. No one had ever done anything like this before.”

Originally for four people, the rafts now hold three people. To decrease speed and prevent injuries, engineers softened the hill that follows the 168-foot drop from 45 degrees to 22 degrees, and increased its height by five feet.

Despite a disclaimer that includes the possibility of death, thousands of adrenaline junkies have already climbed the ride’s 264 steps for 10 seconds of pure joy – or terror.

For more pictures and details, splash on over to Mashable.

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