Roller coasters are designed to offer high-speed thrills, with riders thundering around wooden and steel circuits at a lightning-fast pace. Perhaps that's why they hold such fascination for many people when they are abandoned, left to rot and rust away in silence.
At any one time, there are dozens of roller coasters "standing but not operating" at amusement parks all over the world, in various states of disrepair. Some are ultimately rescued, being dismantled and moved to new homes. Others are simply left in place, gradually falling to pieces in a process that can take decades.
Here are 25 stunning images of abandoned roller coasters taken by intrepid photographers all across the globe.
25. Cyclone (Williams Grove Amusement Park, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania)
Within two years of the Williams family hosting its first picnic in a small grove close to Mechanicsburg in 1950, a fairground had taken root on the site. It was destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972 but reopened and operated until the end of the 2005 season. The Cyclone was built in 1993 and operated until the park closed.
24. Aska (Nara Dreamland, Nara, Japan)
Opened in 1961, Nara Dreamland was a blatant rip-off of Disneyland, complete with its own versions of Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn and the Skyway. Among its better-known rides was Aska, an Intamin-built wooden coaster modelled on Coney Island's famous Cyclone.
23. Screw Coaster (Nara Dreamland, Nara, Japan)
Another of Nara Dreamland's lost roller coasters is Screw Coaster, a double corkscrew design built by the now-defunct Arrow Development.
22. Big Dipper (Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio)
Chippewa Lake Park operated for a century, closing in 1978. Demolition was started in 2009, however some rides remain standing even today. The wooden Big Dipper was the headline roller coaster at the park, and was built in 1924-25. After its closure, the surrounding woodland gradually started to reclaim it.
21. Little Dipper (Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio)
Like the Big Dipper, the junior version remained in place at Chippewa Lake Park for years. The self-contained steel ride featured a host of tight turns, but rusted away into oblivion.
20. Wild Mouse (Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio)
The final abandoned roller coaster at Chippewa Lake Park was the Wild Mouse, which packed a host of tight twists and turns into a compact circuit.
19. Zippin Pippin (Libertyland, Memphis)
Constructed in 1912, Zippin Pippin is one of the old wooden coasters in the US. Reputedly, it was also Elvis Presley's favorite coaster. It stood abandoned for four years after the closure of Libertyand, but has since been rescued and installed at the Bay Beach Amusement Park.
18. Unknown coaster (Greenland, Limbiate, Italy)
Italian park Greenland was opened in the 1960s, but suffered a gradual decline and was closed by a judicial order in 2002.
17. Unknown coaster (near Sofia, Bulgaria)
On a mountainside near Sofia in Bulgaria sits this sad little coaster, with no one around to ride it.
16. Muskrat Scramber (Six Flags New Orleans)
Abandoned by Six Flags following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Six Flags New Orleans stands as a testament to the destructive power of nature. The wild mouse-style Muskrat Scrambler was left in place while other rides were removed and sold on.