If you just found out you had kidney stones, the last place you’d probably want to head to would be Disney World (the first place being the emergency room, of course).
But according to a 2016 study, the most magical place on Earth might just house a bizarre solution to one of nature’s most painful little conditions.
A TikTok by user @hellomynamesjon that highlights a unique medical study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association has gone viral with over 874K views. Authored by Dr. David Wartinger, a urologist and professor at Michigan State University, the study looked at the correlation between riding Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and passing kidney stones faster.
“Wartinger found that some of his patients had passed kidney stones after riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, including one who passed three stones on three separate occasions,” @hellomynamesjon explains in his video.
So, was there any truth to the wild claims?
With the Florida amusement park’s permission, Dr. Wartinger was able to test his patients’ testimonies using a 3D model of a kidney containing three kidney stones suspended in fake urine.
The kidney model was placed on the ride inside a padded backpack and given 20 spins on Big Thunder (presumably using a Fast Pass to avoid the long wait) in different areas of the coaster.
The study found that when seated in the back of the coaster, the fake kidney passed 64 percent of stones. In the front seat of the coaster, the rate was much lower at 16 percent. It was believed the bumpier ride in the back of the car caused the disparity.
Unfortunately, though the 2016 study’s results looked promising, no human trials have been carried out yet, and thus, Big Thunder’s medical benefits remain unproven.
Still, TikTokers are having quite a bit of fun with the concept.
“Man he just wanted an excuse to ride big thunder 20 times in a row,” one user wrote.
“Hi boss, I have a kidney treatment scheduled next Friday,” joked another.
“Flying to Disney and riding this ride is probably cheaper than surgery tbh,” noted a third.
“My insurance better cover a Disney trip,” wished another.
If you liked this story, check out this article about some accidentally creepy Disney face masks.
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