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The Roller Coaster You Can Only Ride Once
The controversial 'Euthanasia Coaster'
I was scared shitless of roller coasters as a kid.
My local cub scout troop would take an annual trip to Six Flags and there would be midway lights, clowns, and a green-railed rollercoaster ride called "King Da Ka." I told my dad I was too afraid to ride it and had to use the bathroom. He let me run off to the bathroom, but I just ran out the gates instead and shit my pants.
Little did I know as a 10-year-old Okie-looking kid that the drive to an amusement park is far deadlier than the actual ride itself.
Today's roller coasters are safer than ever—much safer than a leather belt protecting you in a car going 70 mph. Growing older made me see the truth, and my fear quickly faded away.
Now let's throw all that out the window.
Because there is one roller coaster designed for you to die in one minute.
The Euthanasia Coaster
In 2010, Lithuanian designer Julijonas Urbonas (pronounced: Juli-Jonas Your-Bone-Ass) imagined a roller coaster that can "humanely kill" using such intense G-Force that it deprives riders of oxygen and induces a euphoric state, ensuring a painless and peaceful death.
The Euthanasia coaster has a 220 mph plummet...
And standing at a towering 1670 ft, it's three times the height of King Da Ka and is almost as tall as the iconic One World Trade Center in New York City.
So here's how a ride would work:
You enter the Euthanasia Coaster on a single seat, so you can't hold hands with anyone.
The coaster begins with a very painstakingly slow climb, like "Oppenheimer" kind of slow. The designer himself said he wants you to take it all in before you die.
When you reach the summit of the first lift hill, there is a button you can press to back out or be released. Nice, right?
Then you go down the best drop of your life and experience 10Gs of force on the ensuing seven loops. America’s most intense roller coasters only exhibit 5Gs— or five times your body weight being pressed upon you by gravity—and only do it for a few seconds. The Euthanasia Coaster does it for a minute.
And you're dead. Or at least in a coma... which would suck if you wanted to be dead
People have called the Euthanasia coaster satire since its creator Julijonas Urbonas has had several crackpot creations like a doorbell designed to transform the slightest tap into a domestic earthquake.
However, some think his Euthanasia Coaster opens the door to the broader discussion of assisted suicide.
Quick Thoughts on Euthanasia
I had a dog who accidentally ate poison off a neighbor's lawn and lost feeling in two of his legs. My family made the collective decision to let him go, and it was a hard choice.
I loved that dog but he was a dog.
He wasn't grandma or my mom or dad.
Assisted-suicided for a human is such an enigmatic concept to grasp. In some ways, it feels like a loss for the collective spirit of humanity, like a regular suicide. It also feels like we're playing God. Plus, where do you draw the line? Does someone suffering from emotional pain get suicide assistance?
It's heavy. That said, there are certainly times when it is the best choice:
The right to die with dignity in a way that doesn't hurt your loved ones shouldn't be vilified and demonized.
But it shouldn't be left in the hands of the government.
No way. No how.
I don't even know if it should be legal in all 50 states. It’s so messy. Currently, it is legal in only five US states - Oregon, New Mexico, Washington D.C., Vermont and Montana.
Euthanasia is so morally grey that it takes us far past the outer limits of what humans have mastery or moral authority in. So, like all things, it should be handled on a case-by-case basis and left to the conscience of the person and their family.
I'll leave it there.
Maybe, at the end of the day, the Euthanasia Coaster isn't so much about the design of a roller coaster as it is about having an outlet to have an open and honest dialogue in regard to suicide, death, and what it means to live a full life with dignity.
Whatever the case may be, it looks like a lot of fun to ride.
Thanks for reading and have a great day or night, wherever you may be!