Insane amusement park rides that shouldn't exist

If an alien landed in your local amusement park, and asked you to explain why you're willing to queue for hours just to get whizzed around an insane ride for a couple of minutes, you might struggle to come up with a convincing explanation. Nevertheless, people have been inexplicably enjoying roller coasters and other thrill rides for nearly two centuries. But what once might have started out as a mere "scenic gravity railroad" has since evolved into many different, thrilling forms. Now, while most amusement park ride designers follow the usual trend and just go a bit bigger or faster with their latest creation, some just have to be different, and just have to stand out from the crowd … and not in a good way. These insane rides probably shouldn't exist.

Hundeprutterutchebane

The Hundeprutterutchebane is a roller coaster at the BonBon-Land theme park in Denmark, and while it certainly isn't the fastest, highest, or scariest roller coaster, it might qualify as the weirdest. That's because when you translate the name of the insane ride into English, you get Dog-Fart Switchback—a name that's completely accurate. As you roll around the coaster's somewhat-pedestrian track, you're bombarded by fart sounds, as well as riding past a giant sculpture of the park mascot, Henry Dog Fart, "doing his business."

And yes, there's an origin story. BonBon-Land started life as an attraction for candy lovers, who would come to enjoy the wacky flavors dreamed up by candy maker Michael Spangsberg. One of his most popular flavors was hundeprutter, or "dog fart," so when adding a roller coaster in 1993, it was naturally named and styled after the park's most popular candy. Somehow, calling this place an "amusement park" doesn't seem quite right, at least for visitors over the age of sixteen. However, calling it a "horrified fascination park" would probably be bad for business.

X2

X2—formerly known simply as X before it underwent a refit—is located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. Unlike the Dog Fart Switchback, this coaster doesn't require scatological gimmicks to stand out from the crowd. That's because the X2 is the first roller coaster in the world to incorporate so called "4D" technology. Scientists hoping to travel back in time will be disappointed, however, since the fourth dimension this ride manipulates isn't time, but rather the ability to spin its riders 360 degrees independently of the track the car is riding on. So unlike traditional rides, where you usually sit in a seat facing the direction of travel, on X2 you start out facing backwards, then as the ride progresses you are rotated so that sometimes you are facing forwards, sometimes upside down, and at one significant moment, rushing towards the ground head first.

Add in load music and a couple of flamethrowers (because there isn't enough drama already), and you get an insanely disorienting ride. With up to 1600 people getting turned upside down and shaken every hour, there's probably a bunch of loose change to be found under the ride. Six Flags might even have stumbled upon an unexpected extra source of income, so long as they can find someone who is willing to wash off the vomit.

Sky Tower

Despite the popularity of super-expensive, meticulously engineered roller coasters, there is a much simpler and cheaper way to scare people, and it's called Sky Tower. The Tower is an example of what's called a SCAD, or "Suspended Catch Air Device," and compared to a roller coaster, it is remarkably simple. That's because, instead of building a complicated track and carriage system, you instead build a simple tower … then drop people off it. See? So easy!

The Sky Tower is another Danish ride, and it lives at Tivoli Friheden. To ride it, you ascend a 130-foot-tall tower, where you're strapped into a harness, attached to a rope, and suspended over a 100-foot drop. When the moment comes, the ride attendant pulls a cord and releases you to plunge unsupported to your doom. There's a net, for sure, but it's suspended just above the ground, for maximum pants-soiling goodness. At least bungee jumping lets you keep the rope.

Caminata Nocturna

Some thrill rides base their experience on real-life events, like a shuttle launch. The Caminata Nocturna (Night Hike) theme park, found just outside Mexico City, draws its inspiration from something a bit more down-to-Earth. Basically, visitors from around the world pay $20 to play the part of an illegal immigrant attempting to enter the United States from Mexico. For that $20, participants get to spend several hours running around in the dark, attempting to avoid being caught by park employees pretending to be border guards.

Despite accusations that the amusement park is actually a training ground for actual border guards, the creators maintain that they're actually trying to discourage illegal immigration, by exposing people to the harsh realities and dangers of attempting an illegal crossing. Either way, it doesn't seem particularly ethical, because they're definitely cashing in on what is, for many people, a desperate reality. Besides, it's not like "fake illegal border crossings" is the only way to pay to run around and get chased—haven't these thrillseekers ever heard of the zombie run?

Human Trebuchet

While most of Middlemoor Water Park's rides are, well, water-themed, for a couple years in the early 2000s it also included a little bit of history, in the form of a trebuchet. This Middle Ages contraption utilized a heavy counterweight that allowed an army to fling heavy rocks and other objects (such as plague-ridden corpses) at enemy fortifications. There aren't many plague victims these days, or besieged armies to throw them at, but there are crazy people willing to get strapped into a medieval siege engine and flung 100 feet into a net—and thus, a Human Trebuchet was built and installed at Middlemoor Water Park.

However, there's a reason you don't see a human trebuchet at every amusement park you enter, and that's because it is insanely dangerous ride. Despite apparently painstaking efforts by the operators to calculate the correct weights required to land the human projectile in the middle of the net, it wasn't long before the inevitable happened. A 19-year-old Bulgarian student at Oxford University decided to have a go, and instead of landing safely in the net, he somehow missed by a few feet and hit the ground instead. If even medieval soldiers drew the line at corpses, maybe amusement parks should too.