If you’re a castaway on a deserted island, one of the first things you may think to make for yourself is a hammock. After all, you’re going to have a lot of time to relax, right? You might as well be comfortable!

Even if you’re not stranded faraway, a hammock can be a WONDERful addition to any backyard. When the summer sun shines and the cooling breezes blow, there’s no better place to be than suspended between a couple of trees with a book and a cool glass of lemonade!

Hammocks are simple slings made of cloth or netting. They’re usually suspended between two trees, although two unmoving points — called anchors — are all you need. Some people like to sit in a hammock and swing, while others prefer to sleep or relax.

Hammocks have been around for hundreds of years. No one knows for sure who invented the hammock, but some historians believe they were created for sleeping by the early native settlers of Mexico.

In the late 1500s, hammocks became popular among sailors aboard ships. Since hammocks could gently swing with the motion of the ship, they were more comfortable to sleep in. They were also convenient, since they could easily be taken down when not in use to make the most of available space on the ship.

Hammocks became popular — and are still widely used — in tropical areas of Central and South America. Since hammocks hang above the ground, they keep people sleeping in them safe from snakes and biting insects that crawl on the ground.

After his voyages to the Caribbean, Christopher Columbus brought several hammocks back to Europe. Today, you can find hammocks used all over the world. In addition to being popular for relaxing in the backyard, hammocks are also popular with hikers and campers.

Hammocks come in all sorts of styles and materials today. You can find traditional hammocks made of rope or netting alongside sturdy hammocks made of the latest high-tech fabrics. Some hammocks can even be found that come with their own self-supporting stand, so you can enjoy relaxing in a hammock without any trees around!

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    • That’s OK, Rahul! We appreciate that you give your guesses your best try and that you always WONDER what the next Wonder of the Day® might be about! That’s SUPER FUN! We hope you have an AMAZING day! :-)

  1. Wow, second time in a row to be first. Anyway, when I was a little kid, I had two medium trees so I had a hammock, I play with it all the time but it must have broke and one time me, my mom and my dad were on our bed and our tall big tree fell down right in front of us because of the big storm. :-(

    • That’s really neat that you had a hammock once, Carlos! They sure are relaxing to hang out in! :-) We’re glad you and your parents didn’t get hurt when that big tree fell. Thanks so much for sharing another WONDERful comment with us today!

  2. No! :( I was wrong. Today’s wonder of the day is not about monkeys. However, I loved today’s wonder! :D I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about dreaming.


  3. There is something exciting for me to tell you! In Australia, me and my cousins built a hammock in between two trees in their back-yard! It was great!
    However, our hammock was not strong enough to put 3 people including me and my 2 younger cousins on, so it collapsed and fell on top of us!

    • Thanks for sharing your hammock story with us, Sophie! We’re sorry it wasn’t strong enough for the three of you, but we’re super proud of you for making your own fun! We think you are an AWESOME Wonder Friend and we hope you have a GREAT day! :-)

  4. I have always wanted a hammock but never got one. We don’t have enough tall strong trees to hang it on. p.s WONDEROPOLIS RULES!

    • Hi, Azza! Thanks so much for this GREAT comment! We’re sorry you don’t have tall trees near you, but did you know there are special hammock frames that hold a hammock without trees? Maybe you can ask your parents about that! Thank you for saying Wonderopolis rules, too! We think you ROCK for saying that! :-)

  5. Hey dudes,
    That’s so cool! I love hammocks! We have had a numerous amount of hammocks that my dad has made! My dad is awesome he makes everything! The only thing that I don’t like about them is that they fall down after a while!
    Lots of love, Horse Lover :)

    • Your dad sounds like a really crafty, creative and handy guy, Horse Lover! We think that’s AWESOME that he has made hammocks before! Thanks so much for sharing that with all of your friends in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  6. It’s great to see children getting the chance to enjoy and relax in hammocks. It’s not just us adults that need a bit of rest and relaxation time! Have fun creating making your own hammocks.

  7. Hi wonderopolis I really wanted a hammock in my room but my mom says I don’t have ANY room for it and I found this so I might find the materials and build.

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How do you make a hammock?
  • Who invented the hammock?
  • Can you make your own hammock?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to grab a book, a cool glass of lemonade and relax in your own backyard hammock? If you have a hammock already, go for it! If you don’t, you can make your own with a few simple supplies.

Check out the online tutorials below. They will show you different methods for how to make your own hammock. Be sure to get an adult’s help, as you might need to make a trip to the store to get a few supplies.

When you’re finished, take a picture of yourself relaxing in your homemade hammock and post it to Facebook to share with your Wonder Friends. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Still Wondering

In National Geographic Xpeditions’ If a Tree Falls in the Forest… lesson, children explore the role that forests play in their own lives by listing everyday products made from trees.

Wonder What’s Next?

We believe you’ll think tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is dreamy!

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