Giant Shanghai slide sparks fear and satire on Chinese internet

  • 15 February 2016
  • From the section China
Picture of giant Shanghai slide in the Printemps mall by Weibo user Jinrouxiongguimiaoxingren Image copyright Weibo / Jinrouxiongguimiaoxingren
Image caption A ride on the slide will take a person about 16 seconds

A giant five-storey slide recently unveiled in a Shanghai shopping centre has sparked fear and awe on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site.

The slide will open in the Printemps mall in the coming weeks, say reports.

Pictures posted by Weibo user Jinrouxiongguimiaoxingren last week have spread online in recent days.

But while many are keen to enjoy the 16-second ride, others are concerned about safety, sabotage, or potentially smelly encounters.

Image copyright Weibo / Jinrouxiongguimiaoxingren
Image caption The management said only one person would be allowed on at a time

The management of the mall told local news outlets that the 20m (66ft) slide had been tested and was safe, and that only one person would be allowed on at a time.

But this has not stopped thousands of comments on Weibo, though it was unclear in some cases whether these were real worries or satirical takes on China's spotty safety record.

Rear safety

One of the top concerns was whether riders' bottoms would be safe.

"You'll feel like your bottom is on fire," said Shengkongwanqikajizhongduzhong, while Xiarichuzhan had more practical concerns: "Once you're done sliding down such a long slide wouldn't your trousers be worn out and torn?"

Others had darker thoughts.

Image copyright Weibo / Jinrouxiongguimiaoxingren
Image caption Users were worried about what might happen to someone who met their end inside the slide

"What if someone stuck knives inside... What would happen then?" asked an alarmed Wenzhoukangningjingshenbingyuan.

"What I'm most afraid of is that there would be [open] seams at the entrance and exit, once your bottom slides across... [it'd be like] a large piece of meat dripping with blood," said user Bunenglianjiedaonisuoqingqiudewangye.

"If a screw accidentally came loose, resulting in a small section falling out..." warned -Elvis-Presley.

Some worried about their exit strategy.

"How will you be able to slow down near the end? Will you shoot out and fall to your death?" asked Fanyanlei.

Stuck in the middle with you

Some also raised the possibility of getting trapped in the slide.

"What if there's a jam in there, what would you do... you can't breathe," said Yingtaoguozi.

"If someone gets stuck in the middle... would the person behind him sweep him along and fly out with him?" said Guaizhazhazha.

Others could not decide what was worse - dying in the slide, or stumbling upon someone who met such a fate.

"What if someone dies in there... and the next person on the slide discovers him? Oh my god," fretted Ranbbb.

Wuwewuwe gave this suggestion: "This sort of tube should be completely transparent, then it would be easy to know if anything happens."

Deadly farts

Another major preoccupation was the prospect of enduring five storeys of flatulence.

Fengfengaichidou raised the spectre of "the person in front farting, causing those behind him to faint."

But there could be worse scenarios, pointed out Jianxiaoxiaoxiaosuaner: "What if someone pooped on the slide, what would happen to the people behind him?"

The fevered speculation was inevitably a turn-off for some.

"At first I thought it would really be fun, but after reading the comments..." said Honficius, who ended his or her comment with a scared-looking emoji.

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