The Roller Coaster Of Death

  • Lithuania-born and London-based designer, artist and engineer Julijonas Urbonas has proposed a true suicide machine in the form of a rollercoaster. His ‘Euthanasia Coaster’, a plan created in 2010, is engineered to humanely take the life of a human being, with elegance and euphoria. In other words, this roller coaster is especially designed to gently kill people when they take a ride. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Explains Urbonas:

    “Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body but also the liberation from the horizontal life, this kinetic sculpture is in fact the ultimate roller coaster: John Allen, former president of the famed Philadelphia Toboggan Company, once said that ‘the ultimate roller coaster is built when you send out twenty-four people and they all come back dead. This could be done, you know’.”

    The Euthanasia Coaster’s highest point is at 500 meters and the total track length is 7,544 meters. The maximum speed of the coaster is 100 meters/seconds. A ride only takes 3 minutes and 20 seconds before it’s over. Death will be caused by ‘celebral hypoxia’, a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. Additional effects are grey-out (a loss of color vision), tunnel vision (a loss of peripheral vision), black-out (a complete loss of vision), and, last but not least, G-LOC (g-force induced loss of consciousness). This project somehow reminds me of the Great Pyramid, another megalomanic proposal. Will ‘Design of Death’ be the next big thing?