25 Amazing Rubik's Cube Facts
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The Rubik's Cube is one of the best selling toys in history with 400 million pieces sold.
It's true that the cube 'kinda' faded away after the 80's and some people think about it as a retro game but it was still the best selling toy at Walmart in 2015 with 111 million dollars retail sales.
This graph shows the evolution of monthly Google searches for the "Rubik's Cube" in the past 14 years.
We can notice that the pattern is repeating itself, always peaking around Christmas.
Yes, the Rubik's Cube is a great gift for any occasion, and let's be honest, it makes much more sense than other toys people usually buy. (fidget spinner fades in)
You might be wondering, what caused this peak in May twenty-fourteen?
That was the 40th birthday of the Rubik's Cube and for one day Google was showing a Doodle on its homepage where people could play with an interactive 3D cube.
Since the birth of the World Cube Association there are more and more competitions each year.
The best-selling toys in history
Today over one-hundred-thousand cubers had participated in competitions around the World.
And with this ever-growing number of speedsolving enthusiasts an amazing community has evolved.
2. Twisty puzzles
In this video we're going to be looking at 25 interesting facts about the Rubik's Cube.
Rubik's Cubes come in many shapes and sizes but it's just one of the many twisty puzzles out there most people have never heard about.
There is two-by-two, four-by-four, five-by-five, and so on. Later in this video you'll find out which one's the largest.
A twisty puzzles doesn't even have to be a cube at all.
They can be shape shifter, siamese, geared, holey, bondaged, or a shape modification. Some of them have a solid color or a picture on its stickers.
Twisty puzzles can be classified as face turning, corner turning or edge turning. Their shape can be a sphere, pyramid, dodecahedron and many others. And every one of them provides a different challenge.
3. The beginnings
The cube was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian professor and architect, Erno Rubik.
Actually his correct name is Rubik Ernö because Hungarians place the family name before the given name.
He created the first cube out of wood to demonstrate 3D movements to his students.
Back then the puzzle was called "Bûvös kocka" which means Magic Cube. In 1980 Rubik made a deal with Ideal Toy Company and the cube has begun its journey to conquer the World as The Rubik's Cube.
Allegedly the cube made its inventor the richest man in the communist Hungary.
Another interesting fact is that it took Rubik a month to solve his own puzzle.
4. Pop culture
The Cube is a widely recognizable object and it has shaped the popular culture becoming the icon of intelligence and intellectual achievement. It's a seemingly unsolvable problem which can represent chaos and order.
The contrast between the simplicity of the Cube’s design and the perceived difficulty of the challenge it provides makes it a good tool for artistic creations such as street art, statues, tattoos, t-shirt designs, architecture, and the list goes on.
5. In media
The Rubik’s Cube, as a theatrical device, is an incredibly effective and frequently-seen object in movies, music videos and in commercials as well. Sometimes it's just a simple object laying in the background but it can be used to represent intelligence, creativity and problem solving,
chaos and order, confidence and control, or just a simple toy.
Sometimes it's used to create a retro feeling or, to help the audience subconsciously relate to the character portrayed by making the viewer think “Oh, I had one of those”.
The World Cube Association is a non-profit organisation that regulates and holds competitions for the Rubik's Cube and other mechanical twisty puzzles all over the World since 2004. That's when the renaissance of the Rubik's Cube began.
In 2017 there were 924 official WCA competitions in more than 80 countries. Visit speedsolving.com to find an upcoming competition in your area, or subscribe to the largest cubing community forum.
Guwahati Open - 2016 _ Competition Film
7. Rubik's brand controversy
Even though Rubik's has its own speedcube, competitive speedcubers still don't really use Rubik's branded cubes because they don't have the best quality.
The speedcubing community dislikes the original patent holder because instead of making better cubes to compete with other brands
they attempted to monopolize the industry by intimidation and abuse of intellectual property law.
According to their website, we wouldn't even be allowed to show a picture of the Rubik's Cube without their permission.
Red Bull has recently teamed up with Rubik’s Brand Ltd. to organize their own World Championship where competitiors are allowed to use only Rubik's branded cubes.
The cubing community hopes the lawsuits will finally end.
The beauty of the Rubik's Cube lies in the simplicity of its rules and the difficulty of the challenge it provides.
People can usually solve one face by themselves, after that they reach a point where they start breaking the solved parts if they move further.
The good news is that the solution can be learned and mastered with some practice.
The beginner's method divides the cube into layers and solves them one by one using tricks that don't mess up the previously fixed layers.
Visit SolveRubiks.com to learn the easiest beginner's method. It's available in many languages.
Mathematically, the Rubik's Cube is a permutation group.
The stickers of the cube can be perceived as a group of 54 elements where we can define operations (face rotations) that reorganize these elements according to a pattern.
This model fulfills the following rules: The operations can be grouped, there's a neutral element, each operation has an inverse, and every permuatation has a degree.
I don't want to scare people away with group theory, so let's jump to the next fact.
Associative: (RB')L = R(B'L)
Neutral element ex: RR'
Inverse permutation: R - R'
Degree of permutation: 6 x (R'D'RD), 4 x F
10. Number of permutations
There are 43 QUINTILLION, 252 QUADRILLION, 3 TRILLION, 274 BILLION, 489 MILLION, 856 THOUSAND ways to scramble a 3x3x3 cube.
If we'd have that many cubes, we could cover the Earth with 300 layers of Rubik's Cubes and each piece could have a unique scramble. And somewhere in that huge pile would hide one single solved cube. Good luck finding that one.
Even the small 2x2 Pocket Cube has more than three million possible scrambles. For the 7x7 this is a one-hundred-sixty-digit number.
11. God's number
Probably the biggest secret of the Rubik's Cube, one that took 30 years to crack was finding God’s Number. In 2010 a team of researchers proved that any random scramble can be solved in 20 moves or less.
In 1981 it was known that this number is somewhere between 18 and 52 (cube20.org). Since then this gap has been gradually shrinking until they've found the exact number. It took 35 CPU-years of Google's super-computers to prove that.
Devil's Number is the smallest number of moves required to visit every possible scramble of the cube.
In fact, finding Devil's algorithm is far far harder than finding God's Number. The 2x2 cube has much fewer scrambles and even for that it is still completely unknown.
The Cubing Historian: youtu.be/4zAcT1ex9oU
For a human being it's impossible to find the optimal solution, but there is a program that can calculate it for us.
The Kociemba Two-Phase-Algorithm algorithm gives near optimal solutions and solves the cube in 20 steps. All you have to do is set up the colors of the scrambled cube and follow the rotations to fix the puzzle.
The program is available online at rubiks-cube-solver.com
I built this is a robot 10 years ago and it was among the first Rubik's Cube solvers.
Nowadays anyone can build his own robot with a LEGO Mindstorms set, downloading the instructions and the required software from MindCuber.com.
This robot can solve the cube in .38 seconds. This includes the scanning, the computation time and the rotations. Watch it in real time.
Another record holder, MultiCuber999 who can do a 9x9 cube in about 35 minutes and 700 moves.
And finally, a self-solving Rubik's Cube robot.
Solving the 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 cubes blindfolded are regular WCA events. The competitors memorize the puzzle, then they solve it without looking.
The 3x3 Multi-Blind event takes this to another level. The object is to solve as many Rubik's Cubes blindfolded as possible after one inspection, in one hour. The current record holder, Shivam Bansal managed to do 48 cubes like this.
He spent thirty-six minutes memorizing the scrambles then he solved them all in twenty-four minutes.
3x3 Multi-Blind World Record
15. Cubing Celebrities
Even celebrities enjoy playing with the Rubik's Cube.
Many of them demonstrated their talent in talk shows, or while giving an interview.
For example Will Smith, Felipe Luis, Chris Pratt and Justin Bieber.
Before you take apart a Rubik's Cube you might need to adjust the tension loosening the screws under the center caps. Rotote a face fourty-five degrees, and pop out an edge. The rest of the pieces will come out easily.
You will see that a core mechanism is holding the corner and edge pieces together.
To put it back together squeeze 4 edges between the centers and add the corners to finish the first layer. Build the cube layer by layer.
It will take a while but for beginners taking apart a Rubik's Cube and assembling it in the correct position is still easier than restickering or actually solving it.
There's a good chance that your cube will end up being unsolvable if you don't assemble it in the solved position.
In this case you'll have to adjust some pieces later.
17. Shape mods
OK, so we know that the cube is built around a core. We can use the same core mechanism to build other shapes around it, creating new twisty puzzles.
The Fisher Cube was the first shape modification where the core is twisted 45 degrees inside the cube.
Probably the Mirror Cube is the most popular shape mod. It has a solid color and every face is at a different distance from the center of the core. So instead of colored stickers, the height of the pieces mark which piece comes where.
We have to mention other mods, such as the Mastermorphix, Axis Cube, Dodecahedron, Wheel cube, Eithan's twist, and finally the hardest shape shifter: the Ghost Cube. Good luck with that!
18. Sticker mods
When the classic six-colored stickers become boring we can replace them with custom sticker sets, creating picture cubes, and even harder puzzles.
While the orientation of the center pieces doesn't matter for a regular 6-colored cube, here we have to orient the centers as well.
Here are some most popular sticker mods: With the Calendar sticker set we can display the current date on one side of the puzzle.
This is a Shepherd's Cube where arrows mark the solved position. The Sudoku cube just seems impossible to solve, and good luck finding your way out of the Maze cube! The Braille cube with its tactile stickers allows the blind to feel and solve the Rubik's Cube.
19. Masterpiece Cube
Have you ever wondered which is the most expensive Rubik's Cube?
No, not this one.
The Masterpiece Cube is crafted in 18 carat yellow gold and there are 25 gemstones on each panel: white diamonds, rubies, amethyst, emeralds and sapphires.
It took about 85-hundred work hours to make and is estimated to be worth 1.5 million $.
Created by Fred Cueller
Diamond Cutters International - 1995.
20. Largest cube
Cubes between 2x2 and 7x7 are official competition events but there are much bigger cubes, thanks to 3D printing and the brilliant puzzle designers pushing the limits.
In 2011 the 17x17 was the biggest cube and it is mass-produced today.
In 2016 the 22x22 was the biggest. It exploded twice and it took months to reassemble the pieces.
Explosion video: https://youtu.be/i84PRVPieeU?t=1h34m44s
Currently the 33x33 is the largest order cube, approved by Guiness World Records.
You can order one for the price of a new car.
You'll have to wait 3 months for it but it will keep you busy for the rest of your life, especially if it explodes.
21. Famous twisty puzzles
We have to mention other famous twisty puzzles, such as the Pyraminx which is the second best selling puzzle in the World. It was invented in 1970 but it was patented 11 years later, after seeing the success of the Rubik's Cube.
The Megaminx is the 12-sided Rubik's Cube.
The Skewb is the cube-shaped Pyraminx,
Square-1 is a shape shifter where corners can change place with edges.
These are all WCA competition events.
22. Electronic cubes
If the Rubik's Cube is still too retro for you then you need one of these.
Rubik’s Touch was the first electronic Rubik's Cube. We can rotate the faces by swiping the touchscreens. Giiker Cube is the first smart cube. It can be connected to a phone through an app that features several guides and mini-games. Futuro Cube has a very simplistic design with both touch and motion sensors and 14 apps to play with. Rubik's Spark has position sensors and we can play 6 games, such as snake. Yeah!!!
youtube.com/watch?v=NL2FMBqk_0o&ab_channel=ParadoxCubing - Giiker
youtube.com/watch?v=qvN70B7hWcc&ab_channel=TheMaoiSha - Touch
youtube.com/watch?v=Ao0W43mfY8c&ab_channel=Rubik%27s - Spark
youtube.com/watch?v=QMxxZkVkdos&ab_channel=Geekanoids - Futuro
23. Talent shows
24. Feliks Zemdegs
The Australian Feliks Zemdegs is considered to be the best speedcuber today. He is the first and most likely the only cuber to ever break 100 official World Records. He has never failed to podium in a single round of 3x3. Feliks is holding the World Record for the fastest solution with an amazing 4.22 seconds.
25. Guiness Records
Here are a couple World Records you might wanna try to break:
He solved 8 cubes underwater with a single breath.
He solved 254 cubes while running a marathon.
He solved 58-hundred cubes in 24 hours.
He solved three cubes in 5 minutes while juggling with them.
He solved a 9x9x9 cube blindfolded.
He solved a cube while skydiving.
He solved a Rubik's Cube with a single kick.
This is a 15x15 Megaminx.
The World's largest fully functional Rubik's Cube measures one-point-sixty-eight meters, while the smallest is only 5.6 milimeters.
Now that you know these 25 facts you might wanna know how to get started with cubing.
First you need a Rubik's Cube. There are online simulators and apps but you need a real cube. Look around on Amazon, Ebay or visit a specialized cube shop. You can get more than one, think about your friends and your family too. A twisty puzzle makes a great birthday or Christmas present. And cubing is more fun with your friends anyway. (https://youtu.be/n6-2FXBMjCI - SzkiTon TV)
When you get your new puzzle, don't cheat and read a tutorial immediately! Try to solve at least one face and see how far you can get without help. If necessary, use the Rubik's Cube solver to quickly reset your cube to the solved position.
When you're completely lost and hopeless you can go online to learn the beginner's method. Keep calm and follow the instructions carefully.
Don't give up easily and one day you might become a speedcuber yourself. Good luck and thank you for watching!