Top 10 Facts about puzzles
Did you know that the first jigsaw puzzle was created by an 18th century map maker? Fascinating, right? Even if you are a riddles and puzzles enthusiast, there are a variety of facts like the one mentioned above, that you’re unaware of. That’s where we come in. We bring to a curation the best and most interesting facts about puzzles that will enhance your general knowledge and make you appear smarter in front of your peers!
1.An 18th century mapmaker created the first jigsaw puzzle
The first jigsaw puzzle was meant to help teach geography to young children. In 1760, John Spilsbury pasted maps on wood and cut them into pieces. Unknowingly, he gave birth to the first jigsaw puzzle. Since then, children are taught geography while playing puzzles. Spilsbury’s puzzles were sold to elite boarding schools.
Because of its popularity, other jigsaw puzzle inventors created puzzles with diverse subjects, not just maps. During the 18th century, jigsaw puzzles are developed for lessons and entertainment; they manufactured pieces that depict animals, alphabet, scenery, nursery rhymes and modern heroes.
2.Jigsaw puzzles were originally called "Dissected Maps".
The old term for jigsaw puzzle is “Dissected Maps”. When Spilsbury first designed his tool, he used a map of Europe and divided it into pieces. As it became popular throughout the years, different jigsaw puzzle styles and pictures emerged.
In 1909, puzzle makers started to use a mechanical saw to cut curves and complicated patterns in wood or other materials. The word “jigsaw” was used to describe how it worked. The word jig describes the “up and down motion” as it saws the wood into pieces. And that, ladies, and gents, is how the jigsaw got its name.
3. Puzzles are therapeutic tools for Autistic Children.
Autism is a behavioral condition that affects an individual’s nervous system. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has different symptoms in different people; it includes developmental disability to communicate, behave and interact with others. These symptoms typically appear during 18months to 3 years old.
Studies show, unlike other activities, jigsaw puzzles help left and right brain coordination. The left brain as the logical hemisphere and the right brain as the creative one. Therefore, puzzles are best for children with autism to build fine motor skills, reading and writing skills, even explore new textures and sensory input. It is a great brain exercise to enhance cognitive development.
4. The record for the fastest jigsaw puzzle solver belongs to a 15-year-old
Fifteen-year-old Deepika Ravichandran from East Hampton, University High School of Science and Engineering holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest puzzle solver in completing a 250-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Assembling 18 pieces per minute, she successfully completed the oval puzzle in just 13 minutes and 7 seconds, even without a guide picture of the puzzle. Awesome, isn’t it!
5.Human skin can also be used for puzzle pieces!
The Enigma is the world’s first and only human jigsaw puzzle. Paul Lawrence commissioned more than 200 tattoo artists to create 2,123 puzzle pieces all over his face and body.
He’s now the most tattooed man in the world. And he’s not stopping at his puzzle tattoos. This American performer's body modifications include horn implants, ear reshaping and multiple piercings. He performs various tricks with fire, electricity, blades, and other power tools. A true enigma, indeed.
6.The world’s most difficult puzzle is printed on both sides.
Who would have thought that a 529-piece Dalmatians puzzle would become the world’s most difficult puzzle?
Designed by Paul Lamond Games, the puzzle needs to be solved on both sides. Each tile needs to be matched with the shape, color and fit on each of its sides. It will leave you scratching your head for weeks. Amazon reviews claimed that the puzzle is hard in the beginning but once you get the hang of the pattern it wasn’t so bad at all. Now, you know the trick.
7.There’s also a jigsaw puzzle with no solution!
Believe it or not, someone actually created a jigsaw puzzle with no solution. In 1989, Stave Puzzles, an American puzzle company from Norwich, Vermont, created 5 Easy Pieces, an April Fool’s puzzle with no solution.
Consisting only of 5 pieces, it forms a not-so circular puzzle since it has no solution or an end-piece. Basically, you're just puzzling around in circles.
The first thirty buyers of the game were so enraged that the company refunded their money. Their marketing trick worked though. Because of the puzzle, they became known as the company that made the world’s best and the only unsolvable puzzle!
8.Enigmatology is the study of puzzles.
Enigmatology is the study and science of puzzles of any kind; mathematical, word or logic-oriented.
Designed by the American puzzle creator and editor Will Shortz, who also happens to be the one and only academically accredited enigmatologist in the world, the course is taught at the Indiana University.
IMP majors undergo a personalized curriculum under the university’s Individualized Major Program (IMP). It culminates in a final project such as a thesis, performance or internship.
So far, the university has only produced one degree holder, Shortz himself.
9.Puzzle Mats and Boards are popular Game Accessories.
The popularity of jigsaw puzzles has spawned an industry catering to the marketing of assorted puzzle-related products and jigsaw accessories.
The main function of a jigsaw accessory is to provide a surface to construct and quickly pack the pieces together. Top jigsaw puzzle accessories include puzzle mats and jigsaw puzzle board.
Puzzle mats are also called jig roll cloth; it is lightweight and easy to use. You can just roll the non-assembled pieces in its original position and unroll the cloth if you're ready to play again. Puzzle boards, on the other hand, provide a sturdier flat surface for playing and storing jigsaw puzzles.
10.In the USA, 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles are sold annually.
Jigsaw puzzles are popular among Americans. Approximately half of America’s population bought at least three to six puzzles a year. That’s about 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles sold each year. No wonder, more people enjoy jigsaw puzzles each year than any other table game.
To celebrate the game’s popularity, toy companies in America launched the International Puzzle Day in 1995. Some notable Americans in this category include Stave Puzzles, Paul Lamond, The Enigma, and Will Shortz.
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