Euthanasia coaster: assisted suicide by thrills

Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London, designed this "Euthanasia Coaster" that will kill its riders with a series of brain-scrambling loops: "a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely -- with elegance and euphoria -- take the life of a human being. 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."

Euthanasia Coaster (via DVICE)


  1. This is fantastic, even without ‘you spin me right round baby’ playing as you slip away. Any chance of a taster ride?

    1. Only for a short while, since the number of people who will take the ride more than once == 0

    1. Right?? He had to go ahead and say that it is meant for euthanasia. He couldn’t have just let it be built all over the United States so we could at least get some of these idiots culled out. The nerve some people have.

  2. wow, i just hope there’s not a problem with the coaster while i’m on it. i’d hate to accidentally die while i’m trying to die.

  3. I wish my Rollercoaster Tycoon designs could be used to for a PhD. We used to design coasters that would liquefy the internal organs of the riders. The best one put riders through a bunch of loops and turns, some that maxed out at 30G. Coloured it all black and named it “Ebola”.

  4. And, by looking at the schematics of this thing i’m guessing the exact point at which the roller coaster kills you is when the track ends and you’re still moving at 90 mph, correct?

    I’d probably rather just bring a gun to Six Flags and use it after riding the Goliath.

  5. Just remember that when you are standing in line and have the chance at the snack concession…
    Soylent green is PEOPLE!
    Slurm is slug juice.

  6. Remember Rollercoaster Tycoon? I’m pretty sure everyone of a certain age was doing this exact thing 12 years ago. It was more space efficient to have the loops ascend around the central drop like a helix though.

  7. Has this been designed with any real knowledge of or basis in human physiology, or did this guy basically submit a cocktail napkin doodle as his doctoral dissertation?

    1. I was wondering the same… Unless you weren’t strapped in properly (broken neck etc.) I just see lots of nausea.

      Exisiting heart conditions, weak brain plumbing etc etc excepted.

      1. It’s a physics/biological certainty that with enough g-force the brain will be denied oxygen and you will die. Just ask NASA and the USAF. To some degree, g-tolerance can be trainable, and there is also considerable variation in innate ability between individuals.

        G force has been considered as a form of euthanasia or execution before.

        This page claims the coaster would cause a rider to experience 10gs for 60 seconds. That would probably kill you. I don’t know how euphoric it would be though. Negative g is generally unpleasant and can cause damage. Blood vessels in the eyes or brain may swell or burst under the increased blood pressure

        1. #39: It’s not negative G, it’s positive — negative G pulls toward your head, positive G pulls blood out of your head.

          The physiology of G-induced loss of consciousness has been studied extensively, and since it’s not immediately fatal, we know a lot about it from people who’ve experienced it.

          This article has an interesting graph about the phenomenon:

    2. I wondered that too. The linked page does credit Dr. Michael Gresty, Spatial Disorientation Lab, Imperial College, London. His page is here. So it seems there’s some knowledge of physiology considered.

      1. Note that the Royal College of Art is over the road from Imperial College London, so it’s entirely possible that the art student just asked the scientist over a beer in the Queen’s Arms.

        (There’s a note about tilting trains on the scientist’s page. He presumably does know what he’s talking about.)

  8. PhD candidate in art that talks about “cross-disciplinary research in aeronautics/space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity”. Just saying.

    tl;dr – rtfa

  9. Wait, all the stress this puts your body through is supposed to be a humane way to die? Why not just loosen a few bolts on the wheels and have the car fly off the track?

  10. @Halloween Jack: in the description it says Health issues: Dr. Michael Gresty, Spatial Disorientation Lab, Imperial College, London. So I assume, yes, it’s going to work properly :)

  11. Proceedings of the national society for euthenasia devices.

    Letters to the editor

    Dear Sir/Madame

    Having investigated the rollercoaster method in the March ’11 issue I have found an error in the acceleration term and resistance coefficients used for the final loop sequence. The lower G forces and durations calculated with my methods predict the ride wouldn’t quite put an end to some quadraplegics, instead further entombing them with retinal detachment and burst ear drums.


    Prof. Norman Fairview

    Aerospace Modelling, Alton Towers

  12. While it does credit someone at the Disorientation Lab, I think that it’s exceedingly improbable that a roller coaster designed to carefully and gradually induce various sensations, culminating with a painless death, would just-so-happen to form a huge initial hill followed by an elegant series of reducing loops.

    I’m not denying that you could build a coaster which could cause people to black out (even gently black out) and then continue to restrict blood flow so as to kill them. I just think it’s very improbable that one would look like this.

    I suspect that the concept was vetted by someone at the Disorientation Lab, and the execution (pun intended) was an artistic expression.

  13. I’m doubtful that any physical motion that causes “brain scrambling” will pleasant or “euphoric”.

  14. I have to wonder about a person who spent a good amount of time thinking about this in this level of detail.

  15. I’ve never been able to handle roller coasters. Somewhere in the back of my mind (a part that I’d prefer stay toward the rear, in fact), I’ve long been convinced that the difference between a regular roller coaster and this one is unacceptably small.

  16. There’s a murder story about a disgruntled coaster designer who makes sure the hated executives take the inaugural, neck-snapping ride.

  17. do the cars feed into a crematorium?
    it’s really hard to unbuckle and lift dead bodies out of confined spaces
    – i’m just saying –

    1. That is one of the funniest comments I’ve ever read.

      While on the subject of death coasters I have an older brother who is a pathological liar. For many years he’s been telling gullible people that the prototype for The Beast, a King’s Island Cincinnati amusement park roller coaster, was originally tested in Germany and that “when the ride stopped they were all dead”.

      If you’re reading this Kevin, I’m curious, are you still peddling your bullshit?

  18. Does anyone else think this sounds more like a torture device?

    This is the stuff of nightmares here. FFS, just shoot me in the head!

  19. Hmmm. Would it be less cruel to use this to kill cattle intended for human consumption instead of the current methods? I can just imagine a roller coaster train full of cows.

  20. This is also a useful way to cure people addicted to riding roller coasters. Unfortunately the cure is worse than the disease.

  21. Anybody know which side do you start riding on?

    I was thinking you start on the right side with the multiple loops, then you die halfway down from the tallest peak. If you start from the wrong side, you might not die?

  22. Might I just say that it’s articles like these that bring out the best dry wit in the BB community. I can’t tell you how often I see a headline, enjoy the subject matter but know from the outset that the comments are going to leave me laughing my ass off.

    Granted, I have a pretty dark sense of humor… but so do many of my fellow BB’ers, apparently.

  23. There’s an automatic camera on the second to last loop that snaps a picture that will be offered to the survivors.

  24. The assumption is that death would be painless? How do you test this?

    If you also know how to bring riders back to life to collect data, there are two risks:

    1. It did not perform as advertised and the pain was horrific – leaving you open to lawsuits.

    2. It was such a thrilling experience riders will want to do it again and again – everyone will want to do it, demand will be so great the price of dying repeatedly will be out of the reach of any but the most wealthy thrill seeker and those most in need of euthanasis cannot afford it. Sounds like real life to me.

  25. That would be an AWFUL way to die. You would plummet downwards then go, at a rapid pace, into a set of loops that not only accelerate you extremely rapidly but also crush you into the floor.

    “rapid acceleration” and “crushing” are not things I associate with a peaceful and humane death.

  26. Put one last little inversion at the end of it so the corpses just fall into a dumpster and you don’t have to pay anyone to shovel them out of the cars.

  27. My son both likes singing ‘You spin me right round’ and making ‘death coasters’ on the game Roller Coaster Tycoon 3.

    He’s 7. Should I be worried or is he PhD material?

  28. Pity the poor bastard that has to hose off the seats (when you die you have no more electrical brain impulses to contain the sphincters on your rectum or bladder) for the next to be exterminated.

  29. First Marcus Ramius,
    then Hannibal Lecter,
    and now Julijonas Urbonas.

    A tough lot, these Lithuanians.

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