Rollercoasters Gone Wild


27 Monday 27th June 2011

The notion of ‘euthanasia’ while still controversial hasn’t stopped people trying to find new ways of considering it as an option. One of the strangest ones yet is by RCA Design Interactions (where else?) student, artist and engineer Julijonas Urbonas who’s created a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a Euthanasia Coaster. The idea is this; ‘to humanely - with elegance and euphoria - take the life of a human being’. Theoretically (Disney has not yet commissioned the ride), when travelling at 100m/s along ever shrinking loops to maintain 10G for 60 seconds, passengers will experience tunnel vision and then death due to prolonged cerebral hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain. Deemed as the ‘ultimate roller coaster’ by its creator, it’s hard to say whether this ride will ever become a reality. So in the meantime, for all those thrill-seekers out there thirsty for some adrenaline now that the sun’s come out to play, Don’t Panic have compiled a list of some of the wildest roller coasters around.

Since 2009 the steepest roller coaster in the world has been at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire. With a vertical drop of 112 degrees, Mumbo Jumbo has managed to stay at the top for several years now with its cheerful orange tracks. Until this July that is, when new roller coaster, Takabisha, at Japanese theme park Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park, slaps that record in the face with a ridiculous freefall drop of 121 degrees and a peak height of 43m. If you enjoying looking down secured in a steel cart then this one may be for you.

Mumbo Jumbo at Flamingo Land, Yorkshire

The new Takabisha, in Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park, Japan

If you have a need for speed then visit the world’s fastest roller coaster in Abu Dhabi housed appropriately at Ferrari World. Called ‘Formula Rossa’, this ride reaches speeds of 150mph, therefore loose wigs and rattling teeth are unadvisable.

Formula Rossa, Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

Legal highs don’t always need to be herbal - how about hopping on this dizzying, yet PG, trip at Six Flags Great Adventure Park New Jersey, where you’ll find the tallest roller coaster in the world, ‘Kingda Ka’. Boasting heights of 139m, it’s had it’s fair share of mishaps including being struck by lightning back in 2009, but don’t let that put you off; it almost never strikes twice right?

Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure Park, New Jersey USA

If you like to get the most out your roller coaster experience then perhaps the 1.5 mile long Steel Dragon 2000, in Nagashima Spa Land, Japan will be for you. Finally you can get rid of the hours of footage you have of your fake roller coaster rides on your Mac and have a real adventure.

Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Japan

Last but not least, get some history thrown into your crazy escapades by riding the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster in Pennsylvania’s Lakemont Park dangerously titled, ‘Leap-The-Dips’ - insane! First opening in 1902, this ride, having been disused since 1985, was given a new lease of life in 1999. Though not as fierce as the other coasters, reaching heights of 12.5m and an average speed of 10mph, we think this one is still an oldie but a goodie.

Leap-The-Dips, Lakemont Park, Pennsylvania USA

For more information about Julijonas Urbonas’s Euthanasia Coaster, click here.      

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