Euthanasia Coaster

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Euthanasia Coaster
Euthanasia coaster profile.svg
Track profile of the Euthanasia Coaster, showing its lift hill and seven inversions.
General statistics
DesignerJulijonas Urbonas
ModelStrata coaster
Lift/launch systemCable lift hill
Height500 m (1,600 ft)
Length7,544 m (24,751 ft)
Speed360 km/h (220 mph)

The Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical steel roller coaster designed as a euthanasia device to kill its passengers.[1] The concept was conceived in 2010 and made into a scale model by Lithuanian artist Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. Urbonas, who has experience as an amusement park employee, stated that the goal of his concept roller coaster is to take lives "with elegance and euphoria".[2] As for practical applications of his design, Urbonas mentioned "euthanasia" or "execution".[3] John Allen, who served as president of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, inspired Urbonas with his description of the "ultimate" roller coaster as one that "sends out 24 people and they all come back dead".[4]


The concept design of the layout begins with a steep-angled lift that takes riders up 500 metres (1,600 ft) to the top,[1] a climb that takes a few minutes to reach.[3] For comparison, the tallest roller coaster in the world is Kingda Ka at 139-metre (456 ft). From there, a 500-metre (1,600 ft) drop would take the train to 360 kilometres per hour (220 mph), close to its terminal velocity, before flattening out and speeding into the first of its seven slightly clothoid inversions.[3] Each inversion would have a smaller diameter than the one before in order to maintain the lethal 10 g to passengers while the train loses speed. After a sharp right-hand turn the train would enter a straight, where unloading of corpses and loading of new passengers could take place.[3]

Mechanism of action[edit]

Urbonas (left) and Euthanasia Coaster at HUMAN+ display at the Science Gallery in Dublin, 2009.

The Euthanasia Coaster would kill its passengers through prolonged cerebral hypoxia, or insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain.[1] The ride's seven inversions would inflict 10 g (g-force) on its passengers for 60 seconds – causing g-force related symptoms starting with gray out through tunnel vision to black out and eventually g-LOC (g-force induced loss of consciousness).[3] Subsequent inversions or another run of the coaster would serve as insurance against unintentional survival of more robust passengers.[3]


Urbonas's concept drew media attention when shown as part of the HUMAN+ display at the Science Gallery in Dublin from April through June 2011.[1] The display, designated as its 2011 'flagship exhibition' by the Science Gallery,[5] aims to show the future of humans and technology.[6] Within this theme, the Euthanasia Coaster highlights the issues that come with life extension.[7] The item was also displayed at HUMAN+ exhibit at Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona in 2015.[8]

Popular culture[edit]

In 2012, Norwegian rock group Major Parkinson released "Euthanasia Roller Coaster", a digital single with lyrics alluding to Urbonas's Euthanasia Coaster.[9]

Lavie Tidhar's short story "Vladimir Chong Chooses to Die" incorporates Urbonas's Euthanasia Coaster into the ending.[10]

Glenn Paton's short film H Positive explores the motivations of a wealthy man who, upon discovering that he is dying, commissions an architect to build a Euthanasia Coaster identical to Urbonas's design. Although Urbonas is not mentioned during the film, the end credits affirm that the film was based on Urbonas's project.[11]

The novelist and short story writer David Leo Rice wrote a story called The Painless Euthanasia Coaster[12] for Catapult Magazine.

The novelist Laura Maylene Walter wrote a story for Washington Square Review that uses the idea of a euthanasia coaster.[13]

Author Amanda Saint wrote a flash fiction called Golden Glow which tells the story of people in the queue to get on the Euthanasia Coaster, and cites it as her inspiration for the story.[14][importance of example(s)?]

Sequoia Nagamatsu's novel How High We Go in the Dark includes a chapter that features a euthanasia theme park for terminally-ill children, where a final roller coaster kills them before the plague does. Nagamatsu has noted Urbonas’ design as initial inspiration in interviews.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d Solon, Olivia (6 April 2011). "The Future of the Human Species Explored". WIRED Science. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  2. ^ Lamar, Cyriaqe (18 April 2011). "The Euthanasia Coaster, the Last Roller Coaster You'll Ever Ride". Gawker Media. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Euthanasia Coaster". 2 October 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  4. ^ "A Rollercoaster Designed to Kill Humanely". DesignTaxi. Halls Create Arts Pte Ltd. 20 April 2011. Archived from the original on 9 September 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  5. ^ "HUMAN+ The Future of Our Species". Trinity College Dublin. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  6. ^ Sheridan, Cormac (15 April 2011). "HUMAN+ Forecasting Our Future". NewScientist Culturelab. Reed Business Information Ltd. Archived from the original on 18 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  7. ^ Gorman, Michael John (22 April 2011). "HUMAN+ explores the technologically enhanced future of our species". Notes and Theories: Dispatches from the Science Desk. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Human+". CCCB. CCCB. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Major Parkinson er tilbake" Archived 11 January 2021 at the Wayback Machine Bergensavisen. Bergensavisen AS 23 July 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013
  10. ^ [1] Archived 30 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Analog Science Fiction and Fact –September 2014 – Vol. CXXXIV No. 9
  11. ^ Hart, Matthew (5 April 2016). "Dark Short Film Shows Off Theoretical Suicide Roller Coaster". Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Catapult | The Painless Euthanasia Roller Coaster | David Leo Rice". Catapult. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  13. ^ "Laura Maylene Walter". Washington Square Review. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  14. ^ "Golden Glow – Amanda Saint". 16 March 2020.
  15. ^ Maxwell, Daryl. "Interview With an Author: Sequoia Nagamatsu". Retrieved 10 July 2022.

External links[edit]