Every year on Aug. 16, Rollercoaster Day is observed across the U.S to celebrate these fun and thrilling rides.

While this day is observed to pay tributes to Edwin Prescott, who patented the first verticle loop roller coaster in 1898, the oldest rides are believed to have originated in Russia. Built in the 17th century, these specially-constructed hills of ice located near Saint Petersburg, Russia, rose between 70 and 80 feet in height. Riders faced 50-degree drops and wooden supports supplied reinforcement.

In the modern era, roller coaster designs have existed since at least 1872. One of the earliest patent holders was J.G. Taylor, who called his creation "an inclined railway." His ride was situated at Rocky Point, Rhode Island. It extended 400 feet and gave nine passengers a ride.

Richard Knudsen too got another patent for his model in 1878. However, it was Prescott who improved upon these structures and built the prototype of the model we see today.

These are some of the most thrilling roller coaster rides in the world.

1) Kingda Ka, New Jersey: With a "scary" launch, this roller coaster is the tallest in the world and fastest in North America. Though it is nowhere close to the record for the world's longest coaster ride, it is incredibly fast and intense. However, the experience only lasts for 50.6 seconds.

2) Steel Dragon, Japan: The honors for the longest roller coaster of all goes to Steel Dragon 2000, which opened in Nagashima, Japan. It is 2.48 km (8,133 ft 2 in) long. Clearly not for faint-hearted, this offers a four-minute ride that will send you plummeting from 94 meters (307 feet) high and reaching speeds of over 150 kilometers (95 miles) per hour.

3) Formula Rossa, UAE: Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is the fastest ride in the world and can accelerate up to 240 km/h (149.1 mph) and 52 m upwards in 4.9 seconds. The seats resemble a Ferrari sportscar and launch riders from zero to 150 miles per hour in five seconds. The track sits on a Ferrari racing course and swerves around 1.5 miles of track. Though the ride only lasts for 75 seconds, the experience is earth-shattering.

4) T Express, South Korea: The ninth fastest ride, T Express is the world's longest wooden roller coaster. The beauty of this ride is that it looks majestic against the backdrop of the mountain towering behind it. The first drop of the ride plummets the riders down from a height of 56m at an angle of 77 degrees, which is about the height of Niagara Falls.

5) Montu, Florida: This inverted roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa, Florida, was designed by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard. It was the first coaster in the world to incorporate an Immelmann loop, a simultaneous loop and roll. According to Golden Ticket, this ride remains one of the highest-ranked rides in the US.

Representational image. Pixabay