Travel Channel’s “Thrill Factor” airs tonight 8/12. The series follows former mythbusters Kari Byron and Tory Belleci as they explore the exciting world of thrill rides, water slides and many other heart-pumping experiences through a scientific lens. Sharing a passion for travel, adventure and science, the co-hosts dive into the engineering, physics and biomechanics that explain why these amazing rides excite adrenaline junkies across the country.
In the clip below the team explores how women and men experience roller coasters and the different reaction their bodies have.
“Fear of Falling 335 Feet” – 8:00 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday, August 12 8:00 PM
Kari Byron and Tory Belleci investigate how drop rides are designed to exploit our natural fear of falling to both torture and thrill us. Heading to Florida’s Busch Gardens, they take a ride on Falcon’s Fury – the tallest freestanding ride in North America – to experience the adrenaline first hand. Byron and Belleci also analyze the science of the Shotover Canyon Swing in Queenstown, New Zealand, which sends participants plummeting at 90 mph into a 357-foot-deep river gorge, making it the highest cliff jump in the world. At the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan., they see how ride designers had to tame the world’s tallest water slide after tests had rafts flying off the track. And then, Byron and Belleci explain a free-fall attraction based in Dallas, Texas, that drops riders from a 16-story tower into an open net.
“Battle of the Sexes” 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday, August 12 8:00 PM
Kari Byron and Tory Belleci travel to Indiana to determine whether there’s any difference in how men and women react to extreme thrill rides. With the launch coaster Thunderbird as their lab, Byron and Belleci use high-tech biosensors to dissect the stress responses of male and female riders. Using speeds and geometry, Byron and Belleci investigate a coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain that has been engineered to deliver a thrill like no other. Then, it’s off to Hurricane Harbor in Agawam, Mass., where we dissect the mega-slide Bonsai Pipelines, which is designed to deliver a mega-dose of speed and Gs. From there, we travel halfway around the world to break down the head-spinning physics of hyper-giga coaster Steel Dragon, one of the longest, tallest and fastest coasters ever made.