Outlandish loops, tummy-turning drops and wicked-fast speeds; these are just a few of the thrilling features that characterize some of the world’s most terrifying roller coasters.

Sure, there’s the excitement of adventurous endeavors like white water rafting, backcountry hiking and downhill skiing, but these monstrous, man-made coasters offer a certain type of thrill that Mother Nature just doesn’t possess.

Plus, roller coasters are each unique in their own heart-pounding, turn-you-upside-down way.

For example, rides characterized as “giga” coasters reach a range of 300 to 399-feet tall, and “dive” coasters are known for their free-fall-like, 90-degree drops. Aside from say, BASE jumping off one of the world’s tallest buildings, there’s almost nothing else in the world like riding one of these truly chilling scream machines.

Are you ready for a wild ride? These extreme theme park attractions are some of the fastest, tallest, steepest and, yes, most terrifying roller coasters in the world.

1. Thunderbird, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari—Santa Claus, Ind.


(Courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari)

Claim to Fame: One of the first wing coasters launched in the U.S., tallest vertical loop on a wing coaster.
Stats: 140-feet tall, goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds

2. Steel Dragon 2000, Spaland—Mie Prefecture, Japan


('Steel dragon 2000' by Ivan Lucas - photo taken by Ivan Lucas)

Claim to Fame: World’s longest steel coaster, world’s sixth tallest steel coaster, world’s fifth longest steel coaster drop, world’s sixth fastest steel coaster
Stats: 318-feet tall, 307-foot, 65-degree drop, reaches up to 95 miles per hour

3. Fury 325, Carowinds—Charlotte, N.C. & Fort Mill, S.C


(Courtesy of Carowinds)

Claim to Fame: World’s tallest and fastest “giga” coaster; at 325-feet tall, it’s 20 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty
Stats: Reaches up to 95 miles per hour, 81-degree drop

4. Griffon, Busch Gardens—Williamsburg, Va.


(Courtesy of Busch Gardens)

Claim to Fame: World’s fastest “dive” coaster
Stats: 205-feet tall, reaches up to 75 miles per hour, 90-degree drop

5. Formula Rossa, Ferrari World—Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates



Claim to Fame: World’s fastest roller coaster, world’s sixth longest steel coaster, riders must wear protective eyewear
Stats: 171-feet tall, reaches up to 149 miles per hour in under five seconds

Check out more terrifying coasters from around the globe.

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