Coasting to kill

“Quietly in my sleep” is a common answer to “how would you like to die?” But how about dying on a roller coaster? Euthanasia style.

The less adventurous might be tempted to think of roller coasters as “death machines”. Others might be addicted to the thrill of it. Similarly, some might say that euthanasia is murder, while for others it might mean a mercy death.

Whatever your take on roller coasters and euthanasia, Julijonas Urbonas’s Euthanasia Coaster finds a unique, if somewhat controversial, way of combining the two.

The Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster. Engineered to end the life of a human being with elegance and euphoria, the Euthanasia Coaster takes the excitement of riding a roller coaster to a new level.

Urbonas’s idea is that the (death row) rider will be subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induces different experiences, from euphoria to thrill, from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death.

The 1:500 scale model of the Euthanasia Coaster is one meter high, and consists just of a single coaster track supported by a series of string-thin columns erected from the pile of black fine-grained sand.

Urbonas explains further: “The track accentuates the engineered falling trajectory, the key object of the project. The drawing, as a stylised engineering draft in the scale of 1:1000, depicts just the front projection of the coaster presenting the physics calculations of the coaster’s track.”