In The Loop

When 17th century Russians built 20-m-high ice slides for their amusement, they had no idea what they were pioneering. But those early prototypesócarrying squealing thrill seekers on wooden sleds for several hundred feetówere an inspiration to 20th century engineers, and the result was the roller coaster. The U.S. once led the roller coaster field, but as new challengers (like Denmark's Vild-Svinet) have shown, no country has a monopoly on thrills. Here are some of our favorites, from Ohio to Taichung.

This isn't the world's fastest ride anymore, but it may still...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!