SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - The rollercoaster has come a long way since it was first patented in 1885, with the first amusement park ride of this kind appearing at New York's Coney Island measuring 600 feet long and 50 feet high.
Travel website Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) has come up with a list of the top 10 fast, fierce and ferocious rollercoasters for this summer. This list is not endorsed by Reuters.
1. Behemoth, Wonderland Park, Toronto, Canada
Built in 2008, this $26 million project turned out to be the fastest and tallest roller coaster in Canada. Starting with an 85-degree descent and speeding up to 80 mph in 3.9 seconds, this ride has eight drops and double-banked horizontal loops.
2. Eejanaika, Fuji-Q Highland park, Yamanashi, Japan
Opened in 2006, this "fourth dimension" ride has seats that can rotate 360 degrees forward or backward in a controlled spin. It's the second of its kind on the planet, (the first lives at Six Flags in the U.S.) but Eejanaika surpasses its predecessor in both height and speed, rising 249 feet in the air, and zooming a quick 78.3 mph.
3. Tower of Terror, Queensland, Australia
Shooting straight up into the sky on an L-shaped track, this magnetic induction shuttle coaster runs on linear synchronous motors, which propels it into a free-floating position, and then forces a drop to retrace its route backwards. At 100 mph, it's one of the fastest roller coasters on the planet.
4. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Japan
Steel Dragon 2000 boasts an impressive speed of 95 mph, but what's most remarkable is that it gets to that speed by using only a traditional lift hill. It rises 318 feet in the air and at a length of 8,133 feet and a time span of four minutes, this ride is the world's longest.
5. Furius Baco, PortAventura, Spain
The seats on this rollercoaster are placed on either side of the track, so passengers are totally exposed on three sides and if you're the one on the outer edge, you get an extra thrill of being completely out in the open, rushing in at an average of 84 mph.
6. Megafobia, Oakwood Coaster Country, Pembrokeshire, Wales
One of the most respected wooden roller coasters, Megafobia runs on a twister-style layout. Coming in at 100 seconds in time, standing at 85 feet tall and running at 2,956 feet in length, Megafobia shows passengers that its old-time wooden frame isn't something to be scoffed at.
7. Nemesis, Alton Towers, England
Nemesis has bragging rights for being Europe's first inverted roller coaster. Dangling riders in its ski-lift-like seats, it loops and twists without mercy. Fun fact: This ride won a world record in 2004 for having 32 passengers ride it without wearing any clothes.
8. Formula Rossa, Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
Scheduled to open in October 2010, this is quite literally a ride of the future. It's anticipated to go from 0-100 mph in less than two seconds and peak at 149 mph making it potentially the world's fastest rollercoaster once it opens. It will climb 171 feet and shoot from indoors to outside the park.
9. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey
Kingda Ka is technically the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the world. The ride begins with a launch that rushes its passengers into 128 mph acceleration up 456 feet in the air and the descent is the 90-degree plunge.
10. Bizarro, Six Flags, New England, Massachusetts
Racing at 77 mph and giving as much free-falling "air time" as possible, Bizarro also happens to offer some of the most picturesque views of the Connecticut River. This ride stands 208 feet tall but boasts a 221-foot dro by descending from its high point into an underground tunnel after the first hill.
Editing by Miral Fahmy