|Friday, 10 August 2012 12:00|
Want to enjoy the ride of your life along with the last ride of your life? That's what Julijonas Urbonas envisions with his Euthanasia Coaster.
The three-minute ride involves a long, slow, climb -- nearly a third of a mile long -- that lifts one up to a height of more than 1,600 feet, followed by a massive fall and seven strategically sized and placed loops. The final descent and series of loops take all of one minute. But the gravitational force -- 10 Gs -- from the spinning loops at 223 miles per hour in that single minute is lethal.
While the thought of merging the fun (and perhaps fear) of a rollercoaster with suicide, doesn't occur to most people, it was a no-brainer for designer Urbonas: "Briefly put, [the inspiration was] my PhD study and my long-term affair with amusement parks," he said via email to Discovery News.
That's because Euthanasia Coaster isn't simply meant to be about death. Urbonas sees it as both an intellectual and artful departure from the world, one that isn't about the paperwork and medical issues of the current euthanasia system. The few places where voluntary euthanasia is legal include: Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington.
And that's when the rider is required to make the ultimate life decision: choose to continue living or push the "FALL" button and die.
The condition has a name: It's called cerebral hypoxia. And it's often a side effect of other activities like deep-water diving, flying at high altitudes in an unpressurized cabin, or even exercising at high altitudes.
While you would almost certainly die, Urbonas also admits that there may be ways to "hack" the Euthanasia Coaster and survive. Potentially, quadriplegics might survive the ride since their bodies lack substantial volume in the lower extremities to pool the blood.
-- Discovery News