If you have to pull your Rubik's Cube out of your garage with the help of some rope and a palette, there's probably a good chance it's the world's largest. That, at least, is what the British puzzle designer Tony Fisher is counting on. He's been tinkering with versions of the toy since 1980, and now he's hoping his latest creation lands him a spot in Guinness World Records, which he calls "the only book I've ever enjoyed reading."
One of his latest YouTube videos shows him pulling a beastly 5'1" version of the Hungarian puzzle onto his perennially soaked English lawn, where it looks like something the Statue of Liberty might pick up if she ever dropped her torch. At 220 pounds, its volume is 20,000 times larger than that of a standard Rubik's Cube. Indeed, the stickers alone weigh almost 29 pounds together. Watching Fisher, it's clear he has almost as hard a time moving it as solving it.
Fisher thought about making the cube even larger before building it a couple of weeks ago, but a few factors held him back. For one, he wanted to be able to get the thing through the doors in his house (which must be really wide); for another, the stickers for the sides only came in 17.7-inch wide rolls.
"I also wanted the cube to be usable by one person, like the original," he says in the video, "so it couldn't be too heavy or too big."
By his own account, his chief contender for the crown is the 26-foot-tall "Groovik's Cube" at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, which marks the centerpiece of the museum's Beyond Rubik's Cube exhibit. It's even operational at that size, although Fisher points out that visitors can only control it remotely and that it lacks the stickers and body of a traditional Rubik's Cube.
"It's more of a skeletal structure," he says.
Fisher acknowledges the rumors of Daniel Urlings' 3.52-meter (11.5 foot)-wide cardboard cube from a few years back, but he's been unable to find any evidence to support them and Guinness reportedly doesn't list the corresponding records. (Urlings did, however, build some matchstick cubes.) The other existing contenders are decidedly smaller. There's Tomas Lindén's 3.2-foot-wide cube in Finland, he says, and there's Abe Wickham's three-foot wide cube. As for Fisher himself, the last huge Rubik's Cube he made measured just under a foot.
Should Fisher win the world record, it technically wouldn't be his first. He already made what he believes is the world's largest Pyraminx puzzle in 2013, and he followed up with a giant Tetraminx puzzle not long after. To date, he's crafted around 100 such puzzles including many of his own design, such as his Golden Cube.
Alas, Fisher says his giant Rubik's Cube broke shortly after he made his video. After he fixes it, he claims he'll show his viewers how it was made, but he's not ready to reveal that secret just yet.