All you need to know about Rubik’s Cube

For nearly fifty years it has been a mainstay of pop culture, having kept fingers nimble and brains frustrated with its simple yet empowering application. It’s true, the Rubik’s Cube remains one of the most enduring and popular toys ever invented since its debut in the early 1970s. Read on to learn more about one of the greatest puzzles of our time. . 

History of the Rubik’s Cube

When he invented the Rubik’s Cube, the Hungarian Erno Rubik was a professor of architecture. Rubik first designed this moving, twisting toy in the spring of 1974 using painted wood in the iconic colors that remain today: yellow, red, blue, white, orange and green. He drilled holes in the wood and tried to join the pieces, but the shape wouldn’t stay together. Eventually, he created a kind of paradoxical puzzle that moved, but also kept its solid shape. Rubik called the toy the magic cube or gancube.

Patenting the design in 1975, the “Magic Cube” gained popularity in the late 1970s. However, at that time imports and exports were strictly regulated, so the answer to the distribution of this toy came in the form of international toy fairs.

What is a Rubik’s Cube?

As it says on the box, a Rubik’s Cube is a cube-shaped puzzle toy. Divided into 54 smaller colored cubes – nine of each color – the object of the game is to get all of the same colored cubes on the same side. The 5.6cm cube is made up of 26 smaller cubes, or cube lets, which are nested around a central static cube. Although the cube can easily be taken apart, the goal is to solve it without removing any of the pieces, and just moving them in a specific order.

Solve a Rubik’s Cube

There are over 43 quintillion ways (that’s 18 zeros!) to arrange the colored squares on a Rubik’s Cube, but only one of those combinations is correct. When Erno Rubik first invented the cube, it took him a month to solve. Since then, his best time has been around a minute, a far cry from the speed cubers born from this colourful toy. 

To bring together speed cubers like gan 356 x 2020 from all over the world, the World Cube Association was created. Over the past decade, more than 100,000 people have participated in speed cubing competitions organized by the association in a wide range of countries. In 2022, Yusheng Du from China holds the world speed cubing record, solving the cube in 3.47 seconds (and beating the previous record holder by 0.75 seconds). For non-humans, however, a robot solved the Rubik’s Cube in an almost unbelievable 0.38 seconds. If we talk about non-traditional, Australian Feliks Zemdegs holds the record for fastest one-handed cube solving (6.88 seconds), and Polish Jakub Kipa flipped the script by using his feet to solve the puzzle by 20.57 seconds.