Watch the UK Rubik's Cube Championship

Tim Whitby/Getty Images
Tim Whitby/Getty Images / Tim Whitby/Getty Images

In November 2016, mathematician Matt Parker visited the UK Rubik's Cube Championship and recorded a delightful video tour. In it, he explains first that the cubers in the room are using "speed cubes" rather than official Rubik's Cube toys. The speed cubes are engineered for speed of solving, and can even be lubricated.

Where these championships get wild is the diversity of events. In one event, solvers review a printed diagram showing a scrambled cube, along with the instructions to get it into that state from a solved state. They then have one hour to develop the optimal solution (fewest moves) to solve it again. The room is eerily quiet, with just the clacking of cubes and scratching of pens on paper.

In another event, solvers must wear blindfolds while solving cubes. (They review each cube beforehand, memorizing its state.) Callum Hales-Jepp manages to solve 14 cubes in just over 52 minutes—and the current world record is 41 cubes in an hour. There's even a foot-solving competition. This is mind-blowing stuff.

Have a look at the video to get inside this competitive world:

You can check out the results of the 2016 UK competition online. If you'd like to find a similar event in your area, check out the World Cube Association. If you're new at cube solving, start here.