Professional speedcuber breaks world record on Rubik's cube

Rubik’s cube
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Feliks Zemdegs a 22-year-old man from Australia has broken the world record for solving a Rubik's cube. He has done it in just 4.22 seconds. The achievement was recorded at an event held in Melbourne called Cube for Cambodia.

The Rubik's cube was created in 1974 by a Hungarian man named Ernő Rubik, and it gained international notoriety in 1980 when it was licensed and produced by the Ideal Toy Corporation. It has since become one of the most well-known toys and puzzles in the world. The 3x3x3 cube has stickers affixed to each face of a given color. Initially, the faces of each side of the cube are all the same color. Twisting and turning the cube jumbles the colors in a random assortment. Solving the involves restoring each face to a single color.

Despite his young age, Zemdegs has been working with the Rubik's Cube for some time. He has told the media that he got his first one at age 12, just a decade ago. He claims to have learned how to solve the puzzle faster by watching others giving tips on YouTube. He has consistently broken the world's for solving the puzzle—in breaking the record this time, he broke his own record of 5.8 seconds.

The action in Melbourne was taped and posted to YouTube—Zemdegs can be seen preparing his cube, then solving it. The action is almost surreal, as if watching a robot in a sci-fi movie. Notably, he also holds other Rubik's Cube records—the average time taken to solve five of the puzzles, for example, at 5.8 seconds. He is, quite naturally, a star in the speedcubing world—he has over 300,000 followers on YouTube and 90,000 Facebook users following his postings.

In speaking with the press at prior events, Zemdegs has maintained that he doesn't believe his prowess with the Cube suggests he has above-average intelligence. Instead, he has suggested it is more of matter of studying techniques and doing it a lot. He notes that after a while, it sort of becomes intuitive.

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