Hands solving the ghost cube

Why is the Ghost Cube so difficult?

What is the Ghost Cube?

Most people are familiar with the standard Rubik’s Cube and have likely picked one up before. However, few people are aware that there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of these twisty puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube. Some of the most fascinating puzzles are shape modifications of the original 3×3 cube. If you thought the normal 3×3 was hard, just take a look at what is called the Ghost Cube.


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Designed in 2008 by Adam G. Cowan, the 3×3 Ghost Cube is thought to be one of the most difficult 3×3 shape modifications. Luckily, the puzzle manufacturing company, Mefferts, has since mass-produced the puzzle. This now makes the puzzle affordable for puzzlers of all levels. On top of that, other puzzle modders have taken it upon themselves to make the puzzle even more difficult. Below is a 5 layered ghost cube. It’s scary just to look at!


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How to Solve the Ghost Cube

Solving the Ghost Cube is very difficult for a few reasons. For starters, the center pieces have a certain orientation, meaning they need to be put in the exact same position they were when the puzzle was solved. With a normal Rubik’s Cube, the center pieces can be rotated when the puzzle is solved and you’d never know the difference. But with the Ghost Cube, the centers are shaped differently and need to be rotated properly in order to return the puzzle back to its cubic shape.

Adam modified the puzzle in a way that makes it so you can’t scramble it when the puzzle is in its cubic form. You actually need to turn a few faces before the puzzle will allow you to scramble it. Therefore, the cubic shape the puzzle takes on when solved is actually a somewhat scrambled state of puzzle. Similar to the 3×3 beginner’s method, each layer needs to be solved individually. However, you can only turn it into a cube shape when all 3 layers have been solved. 

Since most Ghost Cubes are all the same color, the puzzle needs to be solved based on shape alone rather than color. This makes it harder to know which piece goes where without colors to guide you. A lot of the pieces look similar so you will have to go through a lot of trial and error when placing each piece 

Despite all of this, solving the Ghost Cube is nearly the same as solving a normal 3×3. Therefore, anyone who can solve the Rubik’s Cube can technically solve the Ghost Cube. It just might take a while to wrap your head around what you’re actually looking at. Scramble it if you dare! 

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