Secrets the roller coaster industry doesn't want you to know

Roller coasters are awesome and fun and also completely horrifying. They're giant rides designed to spin you around, throw you up and down, and just basically beat your body up. For some strange reason, we humans feel this is a fun thing to do, and we ride them all the time. Thing is, even though the roller coaster people don't want you to know this, some of our pre-ride trepidation is actually worthwhile. Here's why you might never want to get on a roller coaster ever again.

That sinking feeling is your organs moving around

You're at the very top of the hill, ready to go down. You brace yourself. And then you fall, sinking faster and faster, feeling something weird in your stomach. It's a sinking feeling, and some people love it and others hate it. But no matter who you are, that feeling is your organs moving. Yep — that sinking feeling is your body in free fall. Instead of your organs sitting comfortably, they're sliding around like a bunch of balloons at a kid's birthday party. Ever wanted to know what it feels like to have your stomach digest your lungs? Get on a coaster!

Let's let doctors explain why this happen, because honestly we don't quite get it. According to them, when you drop, your intestines, which are "relatively mobile," start to move around. As one doctor explains it, "While your body is secured by your seat belt, the organs are free to move about by some extent. That contributes to the free-fall floating sensation that either calls us back for more, or has us running to get sick from nausea." It also has something to do with the liquid in those organs moving around, but even without that, what's happening is horrifying enough. Who's going to ride a roller coaster after this?

You. The answer is almost definitely you.

They can cause brain injury

You know what one of the most horrible injuries you can get? A brain injury! Want to know what can give you one? You get three guesses and c'mon, we're talking about it right now. Yeah, roller coasters can injure your brain, even if you don't actually hit your head on anything while looping around at 75 miles an hour. Of course, if that happened, you would probably be dead.

But here's the best part. Coaster-inflicted brain damage doesn't necessarily occur right after the ride. Sometimes you'll seem fine for awhile, and then just drop dead. There are some warning signs you can, and should, look out for: headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, sleepiness. If you have any of those symptoms, make sure you get them checked out ASAP! It could be brain damage, or it could be a typical morning at the office. Can't be too safe, though.

They're bad for your heart

Your heart is one of those organs you really don't want to mess with. And yet, we put ourselves on roller coasters all the time. See, because a roller coaster is literally a machine designed to mess with your body to release fun chemicals, it can also mess with your heart, causing fibrillation and tachycardia (which we had to look up how to spell, so you know it's serious).

Now, healthy people aren't at too much risk, but here's the thing: a lot of people with heart diseases don't know they have it. And because roller coasters cause heart stress, hypertension, and arrhythmia, it might just be safer to avoid them altogether.

They're deadlier than sharks

Pop quiz! What's one of the deadliest things you can think of? We imagine that, since you're a human on Earth, you said sharks. Because sharks are plenty terrifying. But you know what's deadlier than them? Roller coasters. Yep, you're more likely to go home way more banged up than you expected thanks to via Superman: The Ride than by Jaws.

On average, according to the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, an average of 4000 children get hurt on roller coasters every year, and 52 have died between 1990 and 2004. Meanwhile, a typical shark attack year like 2013 featured 47 shark attacks, and two deaths. Yep, roller coasters are often more fearsome creatures than sharks. And yet, think about how you would feel if someone suggested you go swimming in shark-infested water. Now imagine someone suggesting you go ride a roller coaster? The fun one's way more dangerous than the swimmy one, and yet most people would pick the fun one. Because it's fun! Bleeding is fun!

People have fallen off them

Sorry to add to your nightmare fuel, but people falling off roller coasters happens all of the time. In recent years, a three-year old fell off a roller coaster in Pennsylvania, and was luckily okay. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about Rosa Esparza, a fifty-two year old woman who fell off a Six Flags roller coaster in Texas and died. The family sued the theme park, won a settlement, and the roller coaster was promptly taken out back and shot.

Wait, no? It's still operational? Oh, but it was closed for awhile. Gotcha. They probably closed it just long enough to wash the blood off. Look, when a dog kills a person, it gets put down, but roller coasters kill and they're fine?

Many are put together really poorly

Have you ever played Jenga? Maybe put together a Lego tower? If so, congratulations! You probably have enough experience to put together roller coasters!

Yeah, there's … not a lot of experience needed to do the job, despite how killy these things can be. For instance, one Ohio roller coaster was shut down because of how poorly it was made. This was only after it had been running for awhile, by the way. After lord know how many brushed with doom, it was finally inspected and found to be, well, dangerous. Imagine that. Of course, that's a fixed park — not a travelling carnival. At those places, the hours that the workers are forced to put in make it even harder. Think about it: how alert and focused are you at the end of a ten-hour shift? Imagine if your job involved putting together an entire roller coaster, after those ten hours. Odds are, something bad'll happen.

It's not just an American problem, either — seven roller coasters in Japan had to be shut down after an accident, because only then did people realize how badly they were designed. Why do we keep thinking it's OK to just build roller coasters however, and let whoever build them, just because people like to go "WHEEEEEEEEEEE" on them? "WHEEEEEEEEEEE" does not equal harmless.

There's no single agency overseeing roller coaster safety

Riding a roller coaster is like riding a bull, except apparently less safe. With such a dangerous thing, you'd assume that there'd be some agency overseeing them. And there is. He's called Our Lord.

But an actual human agency? No such luck, at least not on the federal level. There's no study on whether or not coasters are getting safer, because no one is collecting data. No one is enforcing standards, despite all the terrible things happening on poorly designed coasters. Sure, there are some regulations, but only city and state ones, and those change dependent upon whether the coaster is a fair one or a fixed one (like a ride at Six Flags).

Was there ever federal regulation, you ask? Yes, but it ended in 1981, before most coaster enthusiasts were even born (and before most of today's rides were even created). Roller coasters are getting harder, faster, and more dangerous, and no one is keeping an eye on their safety. Have fun riding!

Coney Island Cyclone is basically a horror movie villain

This Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster is basically a supervillain who keeps getting away with dastardly deeds. One time, a girl and seven other people were injured on the Cyclone, and the girl died. The coaster's dark spirit managed to keep it open, apparently.

Worst of all, that's not the first (or last) death caused by the Cyclone! Another time, the ride snapped someone's neck, because Stephen King created it apparently. People just keep getting hurt on it and the ride's still operational and no one is doing anything. You'd think after the first death, the Coney Island Cyclone would've been shut down for good, but nope!

It's not like people don't know about it, either. It's been called the most dangerous coaster in America, and even on it's very first day, it broke down. That was over a hundred years ago, by the by. It's an ancient beast waiting for people to set foot on it … waiting … for you. The only real difference between it and all other coasters, is that the other coasters haven't been designated National Landmarks like the Cyclone has. Which means the Cyclone will never die.

You, on the other hand? You'd be taking your chances.