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17 Elaborately Staged Theme Park Ride Photos

Back when amusement parks started using cameras to capture the facial expressions of their guests on their most wild rides, the companies thought it would just be a good way to make some extra money by giving guests a new souvenir option. Little did they know that the cameras would also serve as the backdrop for elaborately staged photos that only become more ridiculous given their setting. While the theme parks might not be too happy about the development, those of us who appreciate absurdly hilarious pictures couldn’t be more excited to see these funny photos. Here are a few of the best.

While Splash Mountain’s photo op spot has earned a bit of an unsavory reputation since so many women have turned to baring their breasts to the camera (earning it the nickname “Flash Mountain”), it has also become a favorite with pranksters looking to take an unforgettable ride photo. Perhaps the most impressive of all the posed coaster pictures ever taken is this one, featuring a gang of friends casually enjoying a game of Super Smash Brothers on the log ride’s biggest drop.

That same group also managed to keep playing their Monopoly game on the ride a little while before that. When you think about it though, this one makes a lot of sense. After all, if you’ve already been playing the game for hours while waiting in line, you certainly don’t want to quit just because you’ve finally made it to the front.

Of course, the award for most dangerous Splash Mountain picture has to go to Reddit user cefriano, who had to finish shaving no matter what else was going on. I hope that’s a safety razor.

You've heard of Snakes On A Plane, but what about Snakes on a Flume?

The most romantic staged ride picture is probably this one. Here’s the story, as told by Redditor Joefamous:

Lindsay is, in fact, the girl in the front and she did say yes. I would know because I was holding up one of the signs! The guy right behind her is her fiance, Chris.

I carried a backpack around all day with the signs folded up in the laptop sleeve along with snacks and jackets so she wouldn’t suspect anything. The 5 of us behind her practiced holding the signs the day before so they wouldn’t block each other from view. As soon as we were far enough on the ride, I passed out the signs(which were numbered so we had them in the right order) one by one and we hid them until we started going up the hill to the drop. as soon as we hit the peak, we all pulled out the signs and held them up until the pic was taken, then immediately passed them to the back of the log where I re-hid them in my backpack.

She didn’t see what happened until they posted the pic on the screen at the end of the ride! The actual ring was hidden in the backpack as well to keep it safe. As soon as we got off the ride he gave her the ring and we purchased the pics! We actually planned the whole thing and practiced so that it would be a complete surprise to her and pulled it off with a great picture to remember it by and a funny story to tell!

Sometimes the best staged photos are those that are completely nonchalant, like this one showing Tsetan Tenzin (the one holding the Honey Bunches of Oats) and three friends enjoying a delicious breakfast filled with whole grain.

While Splash Mountain might be the most popular venue for staged ride photos, it’s by no means the only place people pull off these silly stunts...

It seems appropriate to stage a fight from the movie Rocky IV, complete with announcers and fans, at the Raging Bull coaster at Six Flags Great America in Illinois. Granted, these friends of Redditor Zeuslightning could have done a scene from Raging Bull, but that might just be overkill.

Here is the same group of gents trying their hand at ping pong on Raging Bull a few months earlier.

Those Raging Bull fans aren’t the only ones who enjoy playing ping pong on roller coasters. Here are Mike McFerran and his friends staging a match on The Comet at The Great Escape & Splash Water Kingdom.

While getting the props out and ready for this shot was relatively easy, the real challenge was for Stephan and his friend to actually get their cigarettes lit in those conditions.

It’s important to always have fresh breath, which is why Matthew Morrell, Alicia Kramer, Rob Meyer, Abby Decker, and Jessica Brosius made sure to stay true to their brushing schedule even though it meant doing so on the Coal Cracker at Hersheypark.

The most common form of staged coaster pictures these days though are those involving a chess board or other game. That’s because they were all inspired by this XKCD comic. Since then, the site has a whole gallery dedicated to people who tried out the idea for themselves. These are a few of the best:

Here’s Thomas Hart and Daniel Madden at Canobie Lake Park.

These chess masters are Cam O'Grady, Jake Barnett, and Shelby Fowler who staged their tournament on the Cedar Point Millennium Force.

Karl Malakoff and his cousin, Lori Coulson, enjoyed a game on the Diamondback coaster at King's Island on Halloween. Eventually, Karl lost when his white king fell off the board.

Now this looks like a serious game, even if spectator Billy Brooks doesn't seem too into it. Players  Kristjan Moore and Daniel Carey definitely seem to know what’s at stake during their match on the Loggers Leap at Thorpe Park.

Of course, chess was just too easy for Randall and Ben Wald, so they decided to build a house of cards on the 79 foot drops of the Goliath coaster at Six Flags over Georgia.

Justin Howell and his friend felt the same way, which is why they took to playing Extreme Jenga while riding Thunder Run at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

Have any of you ever performed a goofy stunt like these? If so, feel free to tell the story and share any links to the photos themselves. Also, while I tried to identify the people in these photos, sometimes it's impossible to track down the real origin of the image. If you happen to know the people in one of these pictures, let us know in the comments. Thanks!

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Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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History
15 Funny Quips from Great American Humorists
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The art of social satire is a tough one, but a great humorist's keen observations, witticisms, and turns of phrase continue to ring true even decades later. "Humor is something that thrives between man's aspirations and his limitations," the musical comedian Victor Borge once noted. "There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth." (In other words, it's funny 'cause it's true.) Here are 15 more quips from some of America's most astute commentators.

1. MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)

Mark Twain
Rischgitz, Getty Images

"Familiarity breeds contempt—and children."

2. DOROTHY PARKER (1893-1967)

Dorothy Parker looks at the camera. There is a man in a tuxedo and wine bottles in the background.
Evening Standard, Getty Images

"That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment."

3. JAMES THURBER (1894-1961)

James Thurber smokes a cigarette sitting in an armchair.
Fred Palumbo, Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"Last night I dreamed of a small consolation enjoyed only by the blind: Nobody knows the trouble I've not seen!"

4. NORA EPHRON (1941-2012)

Nora Ephron smiles for press at an event.
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

"Summer bachelors, like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be."

5. GORE VIDAL (1925-2012)

Gore Vidal
Central Press, Getty Images

"The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so."

6. ARTEMUS WARD (1834-1867)

A sepia-toned cabinet card of Artemus Ward
TCS 1.3788, Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"They drink with impunity, or anybody who invites them."

7. GERTRUDE STEIN (1874-1946)

Gertrude Stein sits at a desk with a pen in her hand.
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

"The thing that differentiates man from animals is money."

8. FRANKLIN PIERCE ADAMS (1881-1960)

Franklin Pierce Adams sits at a desk that's covered in papers.
Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory."

9. ETHEL WATERS (1896-1977)

Ethel Waters leans in a doorway.
William P. Gottlieb, Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"All the men in my life have been two things: an epic and an epidemic."

10. ROBERT BENCHLEY (1889-1945)

Robert Benchley sits at a desk in a scene from 'Foreign Correspondent.'
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with that it's compounding a felony."

11. AMBROSE BIERCE (1842-1914)

A seated portrait of Ambrose Bierce
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited."

12. MAE WEST (1893-1980)

A portrait of Mae West
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before."

13. GEORGE S. KAUFMAN (1889-1961)

A seated portrait of George S. Kaufman
The Theatre Magazine Company, photograph by Vandamm, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

"At dramatic rehearsals, the only author that's better than an absent one is a dead one."

14. VICTOR BORGE (1909-2000)

Victor Borge plays the piano.
Keystone, Getty Images

"Santa Claus has the right idea—visit people only once a year."

15. GEORGE CARLIN (1937-2008)

George Carlin doing a stand-up set
Ken Howard, Getty Images

"Atheism is a non-prophet organization."

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NASA, JPL-Caltech
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Space
It's Official: Uranus Smells Like Farts
NASA, JPL-Caltech
NASA, JPL-Caltech

Poor Uranus: After years of being the butt of many schoolyard jokes, the planet's odor lives up to the unfortunate name. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Oxford and other institutions, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the upper layer of Uranus's atmosphere consists largely of hydrogen sulfide—the same compound that gives farts their putrid stench.

Scientists have long suspected that the clouds floating over Uranus contained hydrogen sulfide, but the compound's presence wasn't confirmed until recently. Certain gases absorb infrared light from the Sun. By analyzing the infrared light patterns in the images they captured using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii, astronomers were able to get a clearer picture of Uranus's atmospheric composition.

On top of making farts smelly, hydrogen sulfide is also responsible for giving sewers and rotten eggs their signature stink. But the gas's presence on Uranus has value beyond making scientists giggle: It could unlock secrets about the formation of the solar system. Unlike Uranus (and most likely its fellow ice giant Neptune), the gas giants Saturn and Jupiter show no evidence of hydrogen sulfide in their upper atmospheres. Instead they contain ammonia, the same toxic compound used in some heavy-duty cleaners.

"During our solar system's formation, the balance between nitrogen and sulfur (and hence ammonia and Uranus’s newly detected hydrogen sulfide) was determined by the temperature and location of planet’s formation," research team member Leigh Fletcher, of the University of Leicester, said in a press statement. In other words, the gases in Uranus's atmosphere may be able to tell us where in the solar system the planet formed before it migrated to its current spot.

From far away, Uranus's hydrogen sulfide content marks an exciting discovery, but up close it's a silent but deadly killer. In large enough concentrations, the compound is lethal to humans. But if someone were to walk on Uranus without a spacesuit, that would be the least of their problems: The -300°F temperatures and hydrogen, helium, and methane gases at ground level would be instantly fatal.

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