By Kayanna Kendrick
A gray sky complete with drizzle. What a perfect day to visit a museum devoted to water. Complete with several fountains, a timeline, a "cave", and a virtual roller coaster, Source-O-Rama in Chaudfontaine is amazing.
The water in Chaudfontaine bubbles up from hot springs (hence the name, Chaudfontaine means "Hot Fountain"in French.) Water that they package in water bottles today in their factory fell to the Earth as precipitation 60 years ago. They explained that this happened because the water seeps into the ground and joins with underground rivers and other sources of water below the Earth. the water travels down 1,600 meters to temperatures of about 55 degrees Celsius and very high pressure. Then it comes back up to the surface after a very long time underground. Then it gets packaged and drunk, but that's another system. The virtual roller coaster followed this journey, everything from evaporation to packaging. You even get to go down a stalactite and a waterfall. It was funny, because Abe was complaining for almost the entire thing, while BJ wanted to go on it again.
There was a tunnel that explained clouds, tornadoes, tsunamis, and the difference between cascades and streams. First was the clouds. The sound effects weren't very loud and the information useful. The lights were nice too. The storm section had claps of thunder and roofs being torn off for sound effects and flashes of fake lightning from the ceiling. Poor Abe was terrified and ran from that part. The facts were very cool. The last section of the tunnel was much better. Soothing sounds of waterfalls and burbling streams with calm lighting and useful information.
There was a fake cave after that with really fascinating facts about types of underground water. I couldn't read it all before it was time to leave that section though. I'm told that there was a life-size bat, but I was otherwise occupied.
Then a room came up that showed how much water each person uses per day on the wall. There were several countries on the wall. South Africa used the least and the USA used the most. Next to that was a display showing how much water was in what objects. In addition to a few fruits and vegetables, they showed a T-Shirt and shorts, jeans, and other bizarre items that I thought had no water at all contained within.
The finale was a beautifully choreographed fountain. They played music and the fountain would spurt water in time to the music. Sometimes, the water would almost hit the lights above. Behind the fountain, a screen showed a projection of their mascot (a raindrop) playing the fountain like an orchestra.