It's a measurable fact, some roller coasters are better than others; whether it's super speeds, staggering heights, or a seemingly endless track, each of these eight thrill rides possesses something you won't find anywhere else in the world.
Steel Dragon 2000 - Nagashima Spa Land
Longest steel coaster
A ride on the Steel Dragon -- like sex with an Australian
-- lasts about 4 minutes from start to finish, and the track is a whopping 8,133ft in length (just over 1.5 miles). At 318ft, it's one of the tallest coasters in the world as well, and the additional steel required to make it earthquake-proof ballooned the price up to over $50 million.
The Smiler - Alton Towers
Location: Staffordshire, England
Record: Most inversions on a steel coaster
It might not be the fastest or the tallest, but The Smiler's 14 rapid-fire inversions definitely make it the most stomach-churning ride on this list. There's also The Marmaliser -- a spider-like construction at the center of the ride -- whose collection of “mind manipulating” elements like flashing lights, laughing gas, and tickling brushes should make you forget all about the urge to spew.
Kingda Ka - Six Flags Great Adventure
Jackson, New Jersey
Tallest steel coaster, Longest steel coaster drop
This monster's been king of the hill for years, thanks to its 456ft height and 418ft drop length. And it's about to get even crazier, when Six Flags adds a separate drop tower ride directly underneath Kinda Ka's loop. It's called Zumanjaro, and at 415ft, it'll snag the record for tallest drop tower ride
when it opens later this year.
Formula Rossa - Ferrari World
Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Record: Fastest steel coaster
Grabbing the speed record from Kingda Ka when it opened in 2010, this Ferrari-themed coaster rockets up to its top speed of 150mph in about 5 seconds -- so fast that riders are required to wear the kind of safety goggles normally reserved for skydivers and Snoopy.
Location: Sandusky, Ohio
Record: Tallest coaster inversion
In addition to hurling riders through two near-miss keyhole towers, GateKeeper's track inverts at a height of 170ft. It also set the speed and length records for Wing Coasters -- rides where the track is beside your seat, and there's nothing but air above and below you.
Full Throttle - Six Flags Magic Mountain
Tallest vertical loop
This looping coaster uses linear induction motors
to catapult riders from zero to 70mph, before throwing them straight into a massive 160ft vertical loop. There's also something called the "top hat" but, it's complicated to explain -- just know that Full Throttle's the first coaster ever to combine it with a vertical loop.
Inexplicable "Crazy Train" dubstep remix
Takabisha - Fuji-Q Highland
Location: Fujiyoshida, Japan
Record held: Steepest steel coaster
The name Takabisha actually means "dominant", which is fitting when you consider that the eight-seat cars hit 62mph within the first TWO seconds of the ride. The main attraction, though, is the121-degree "beyond vertical" drop that punishes riders as they race 141ft back down to ground level.
Goliath - Six Flags Great America
May 24th, 2014
Fastest wooden coaster, with the tallest and steepest drop
Goliath's 180ft/80-degree drop and 72mph top speed will steal three records away from two other wooden coasters once it's completed; you can check out how the construction's going live via this webcam
Gianni Jaccoma is an editorial assistant for Thrillist Travel, and he once ralphed after riding the Teacups. There may or may not have been drinks involved. Follow him on Twitter @gjaccoma.