Few children's toys can boast that they are not only the inspiration for a new form of art, but also for a new level of competition. But the Rubik's Cube holds these honors, as well as many more. It's been 40 years since the iconic 80s toy was created. And it still holds the world's fascination as one of the most addicting puzzles of all time.
It all started back in the early 1970s, when Erno Rubik, then a 29-year-old third grade teacher wanted to create a puzzle that would engage the minds of his students.
“It was wonderful to see how, after only a few turns, the colors became mixed, apparently in random fashion,” Rubik once said. “Like after a nice walk when you have seen many lovely sights you decide to go home, after a while I decided it was time to go home — let us put the [26 linked] cubes back in order,” he recalled. “And it was at that moment that I came face to face with the big challenge: What is the way home?”
That was nearly 300 million Rubik's Cubes ago (a sales figure that doesn't reflect the millions of illegal knock-offs that have been sold since.) Still, the Rubik's Cube has been called the best selling toy on the planet - it's estimated that one out of every eight people in the world have tried to solve it at least once.
The Rubik's cube also spawned it's own art form - Rubik's Cubism and a series of world-wide puzzle solving competitions known as Speedcubing.
So how well you celebrate 40 years of Rubik's Cubing? Why not try your hand at solving one? Here's a little lifehack to get you started: