The Rubik’s Cube

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various sized rubik's cubes from small to bigThe Rubik’s Cube, originally called the “Magic Cube” is a a 3-D mechanical twisty puzzle invented and licensed by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik in 1974.

In a classic 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube, each of the six faces are covered by nine stickers, traditionally white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. The structure of the cubelets enables each face to turn independently, mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be returned to consisting of one colour.

Popularity

The Rubik’s Cube has celebrated its 40th birthday in 2014 and it’s still popular, especially in the USA, Europe, India and the Far East. According to the estimations, 350 million cubes had been sold worldwide making it the World’s top-selling puzzle game and best-selling toy. The World Cube Association organizes various speedcubing competitions worldwide. On these occasions the contestants have to solve the Rubik’s Cube as fast as possible. There are special types of competitions when the solution is done blindfolded, one handed, using just feet, or underwater in a single breath. At the moment Lucas Etter (USA) is holding the World record for the fastest solve (River Hill Fall 2015 competition) with an amazing solve of 4.90 seconds (21 Nov 2015). He broke the Rubik’s Cube Single World Record of Collin Burns (USA) whose best official time was 5.25 seconds.

The mystery

The mystery of the Magic’s Cube consists in its simplicity and yet unsolvability. It’s a very simple toy, everybody can understand what is the goal at the first time they hold it in their hands and it’s still almost impossible to solve for a human being because you should foresee too many steps while solving it. When the puzzle was invented it took one month to solve it for the very first time. They weren’t even sure that it was solvable until that point.

Mathematicians were analyzing the puzzle trying to solve its secrets. Various Rubik’s Cube solver robots have been built to solve the Cube in a blink of an eye, and computer programs are searching for the optimal solution. Using the supercomputers of Google scientists have proved that any Rubik’s Cube can be solved in maximum 20 steps from any random starting position. This is called the God’s Number.

You can buy thematic cubes with different custom printed stickers. Usually these stickers display a city sight so they make perfect souvenirs. Rubik’s fans usually have calendar stickers on their cubes, and the possibilities are endless.

Not only the stickers can be custom but the shape of the cube too. On the 3x3x3 pivot mechanism they can build any shape they want. The first such cube was the Fisher cube first made in the in the mid eighties. The most popular custom shaped Rubik’s Cube is the Homer Simpson puzzle, or Mirror Cube where the colours are “heights” which you can solve even blindfolded. A perfect gift for Valentines day might be a heart-shaped Rubik’s Cube. Usually these puzzles change their shape with every twist. Collecting these toys and other twisty puzzles sure will be a nice hobby for you.

The Rubik’s Cube was 40 years old in 2014 and its popularity keeps getting bigger. The anniversary will be celebrated with new custom puzzles and in the hometown of the inventor a Rubik’s Cube Museum will be built.

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