28 Amazing Rubik’s Cube Facts
1. The best selling toy
There have been roughly 400 million Rubik’s Cubes sold since 1980 and one fifth of the globe had played with it, making this puzzle the best selling toy in history, and helping its inventor, Erno Rubik to become the richest man in the communist Hungary back then.
You might think about the Rubik’s Cube as a retro game but it was still the best selling toy at Walmart in 2015 with $111 million retail sales.
2. So many combinations!
The Rubik’s Cube has 43 quintillion (43.252.003.274.489.856.000) possible scrambles. If we’d line up that many cubes it would reach out 260 light years or it could cover the Earth with 275 layers of cubes. Each piece in this huge pile would be showing a unique pattern and only one of them would be solved.
Good luck finding that one piece!
3. Its inventor couldn’t solve it
After it was invented in 1974 by the Hungarian professor of architecture Rubik Erno it took one month to finally figure out the solution despite a whole university looking for it. At first they weren’t even sure a human could solve it.
The World Cube Association regulates and holds Rubik’s Cube competitions worldwide since 2004 with officials in 70 countries.
The most important event is the Rubik’s Cube single but there are one-handed, blindfolded, feet only and fewest moves challenges.
5. The most expensive cube
Diamond Cutters International crafted the most precious puzzle in 18 carat yellow gold, adding 25 precious stones as “stickers”: diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The masterpiece is valued at 2.5 million USD.
6. Giant cube
Tony Fisher, british puzzle designer built the World’s biggest Rubik’s Cube in 2016. The fully functional puzzle is 1.56m wide and weighs 100kgs.
7. The start of the twisty puzzle mania
The Rubik’s Cube inspired countless twisty puzzle models which all have their unique mechanism, shape, solution method and of course a huge fan-base.
8. The Pyraminx
However this tetrahedron-shaped, 3-layered twisty puzzle was invented 3 years before the Rubik’s Cube, it was only patented later in 1981 when Rubik’s became popular. The Pyraminx is known to be the second best selling puzzle toy with more than 100 million pieces sold.
9. Other famous twisty puzzles
The most popular twisty puzzle models, which are all official WCA competition events are the dodecahedron-shaped Megaminx, the corner-turning Skewb, the shape-shifting Square-1, the 2×2 Pocket Cube, the 4×4 Rubik’s Revenge and the 5×5 Professor’s Cube.
10. 22x22x22 Rubik’s Cube
There’s a challenge for those who think the classic 3x3x3 is too easy. It takes 3 hours to make a simple checkerboard pattern on the record-breaking 22x22x22 Rubik’s Cube. The cube fell apart (exploded) twice and it took months to rebuild the pieces.
11. Shape mods
Any other shape can be built on the Rubik’s Cube core mechanism, not just a cube. This idea and 3D printing gave birth to countless amazing 3×3 shape mods, such as the Fisher Cube, Mastermorphix, Mirror Cube, Ghost Cube, but there are heart-shaped, or Bart Simpson-shaped puzzles as well.
Puzzle modding is becoming more and more popular.
12. Sticker mods
Applying custom stickers on the puzzles can add an extra twist to the game. This way we can add a jigsaw puzzle, a Sudoku or a maze to the Rubik’s Cube. The solution of such a puzzle is more difficult than the classic 6-colored version because it’s hard to figure out which piece belongs where and for most picture cubes the orientation of the center pieces count as well.
13. Electronic Cubes
Even a retro game has to keep up with the 21st century. Electronic Rubik’s Cubes, such as the Rubik’s Touch or the Futuro Cube are new players in the puzzle market. Touchscreens, motion sensors, pre-installed games and mobile connectivity are inevitable these days.
14. The fastest solver
Lucas Etter (USA) holds the record for the fastest solution on an official competition with an astonishing 4.90 seconds result. He is the only human to solve the puzzle under 5 seconds.
15. Robots can do it under 1 second
Speedcubers are quick but a robot called Sub1 solved the cube in 0.887 seconds. It used two webcams to capture the arrangement of the sides, then it calculated the solution and an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board applied the 20 steps.
The MultiCuber 999 robot is not so fast but it also achieved a Guiness world record by solving a 9x9x9 cube.
16. Even you can do the cube
The solution can be learned easily by memorizing a few algorithms and how to apply them. To solve the cube with the beginner’s method we have to divide the puzzle into layers and to apply algorithms in each step not messing up the pieces already in place. Most Rubik’s solving methods are based on this idea.
17. Win a million with Rubik’s
A 27 year old student won the great prize of the German “Who wants to be a millionaire” by answering correct to the question: “How many cubies does the Rubik’s Cube consist of?”.
18. The advanced method
19. Some cubers can solve it blindfolded
The blindfolded solves of 3x3x3, 4x4x4 and 5x5x5 cubes are official competition events. The competitor has to memorize the scramble, then solve the cube blindfolded.
In 2013 Marcin Kowalczyk (Poland) memorised 41 cubes for 30 minutes and then solved them all blindfolded in 22 minutes.
20. God’s number has been found: 20
Thanks to the Google supercomputers, a team of researchers proved in 2010 that every scramble can be solved in 20 steps or less. Finding this number (nicknamed God’s number) has been a huge mathematical mystery for decades.
21. There is an optimal Rubik’s Cube solver program
Herbert Kociemba’s Cube Explorer program can find the optimal solution in 20 steps. The algorithm is open source and free to download. There is an online Kociemba solver which runs in your web browser without download and installation.
22. The Rubik’s Google Doodle
In 2014 the 40th birthday of the invention was celebrated by Google with a doodle on its home page where people could challenge their skills with an online cube simulator. The cube exploded when the solution was completed.
Rubikubism pixel art is using only Rubik’s Cubes to draw pictures. The biggest mosaic was built by Josh Chalom (USA) and it contains 85.794 puzzles.
24. Disassembled cube
To take apart the Rubik’s Cube rotate one face 45 degrees and pop out an edge. You will see that it has a core mechanism and the center pieces hold the edges and corners together. You will only have a 1/12 chance of your puzzle being solvable after you put the pieces back together randomly and not in the solved state.
25. Competitors of the Rubik’s brand
Speedcubing requires fast puzzles to reach the best solution times and Rubik’s branded products were never known for their superior quality. Rubik’s has its own speedcube model, which is still not preferred by professional speedcubers and they rather choose other puzzle brands, like MoYu or DaYan. We have collected and rated the best online stores to buy twisty puzzles.
26. Cubers won “Romania’s Got Talent” in 2015
Speedcubing can make a good show! This has been proven by three speedcubers on the most popular Romanian talent show who impressed the jury and the audience with an amazing show for weeks in a row, eliminating singers, dancers, magicians and others.
Read the full story here.
27. Twisty jigsaw sliding puzzle
28. Chuck Norris can solve the cube just by staring at it
Okay this might not be true but nobody has proven it wrong either. You can find many other cubing jokes and memes here.
Test your knowledge with the Rubik’s Cube quiz!
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