A roller coaster is a type of ride in an amusement part that employs several forms of movement consisting of long drops, sharp curves, and even gravity-defying twists. The elevated tracks were designed well to keep the cars safely on the rails. While it may seem like fun, the history behind the development of the roller coaster is quite interesting.
Roller coasters were designed to divert attention away from the depravity of pubs, gambling and dancing halls, and brothels in the United States. When people wanted a thrill, all they needed to do was get on a roller coaster.
The Origin of the Roller Coaster
Before it served as an amusement park ride, one of America’s earliest coasters transported coal. Edwin Prescott, a roller coaster designer from Massachusetts, was granted a patent on August 16, 1898, for a roller coaster enhancement that ride enthusiasts have come to expect the vertical loop.
Prescott’s Loop the Loop was a flop because the coaster could only accommodate one car with four passengers at a time. After barely nine years in operation, it closed in 1910. On National Roller Coaster Day, August 16th, the inventor’s pioneering spirit is honored. (Source: The Smithsonian Magazine)
How Did the Roller Coaster Save Americans from Satan?
Roller coasters with names like Dare Devil Dive, Steel Vengeance, and The Beast, it’s easy to forget that the rides were actually created as a diversion from Satan’s temptations.
In 1884, disgusted by the rise of hedonistic amusements such as saloons and brothels, LaMarcus Adna Thompson built the Switchback Gravity Railway. It was a patented coaster that brought visitors to Brooklyn’s Coney Island. People could ride the coaster for five cents. Thompson is sometimes referred to as the Father of the American Roller Coaster. (Source: The Smithsonian Magazine)
Did You Know Roller Coaster Loops are Never Circular?
Even though some roller coasters can loop the loop, they are never perfectly circular? The loop, like the center of a Venn diagram, isn’t a circle in and of itself; instead, it’s the place where two circles hypothetically cross. (Source: The Smithsonian Magazine)
How Can Riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World Help with Kidney Stones?
What should you do now that you’ve discovered you have kidney stones? Take a trip to Disney World! Prescribing a trip to the amusement park as a type of preventative care for patients prone to the ailment sounds like a crazy notion, but coincidentally it works.
Researchers rode Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster around 20 times while wearing a backpack with a transparent, 3D-printed kidney with a fake stone inside to see how the stone would travel with all those ups and downs.
According to research published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association in 2016, the work won them a beloved Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine. The kidney stone passed about two-thirds of the time, as long as the rider was seated at the back of the coaster. (Source: The Smithsonian Magazine)
Where Can You Find the Fastest Roller Coaster in the World?
Formula Rossa, located at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, is the World’s Fastest Roller coaster in the world. In just 4.9 seconds, this roller coaster accelerates from zero to 149 miles per hour.
According to their website, you’ll reach a maximum height of 170 feet and experience a 4.8G adrenaline rush. You’ll feel like an actual race car driver afterward. (Source: The Smithsonian Magazine)