The World’s Largest Man-Made Wave Rises Up

Inside the Delta Flume, a massive new lab full of artificial wonders.

The Dutch, no strangers to flooding, recently opened the world’s largest man-made wave facility to help research better preventative technology. The Delta Flume is huge: 984 feet long, 31 feet high, and 16 feet wide, it holds the equivalent of four Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water. It uses a hydraulic system to generate waves that can reach nearly 15 feet high.

As seen in the video above, the waves crest against an artificial coast that can be used to help test barriers, dams, and dykes against different wave intensities. It’s much-needed research: According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, an average of 7,000 people lose their lives in floods every year.