What’s the World’s Hardest Puzzle?

world's hardest puzzle
Credit: Mel Poole

Some jigsaw puzzles may be difficult if they are the same color or contain a large number of pieces, but other puzzles in the world are exceedingly difficult. One piece in particular, called the Generation Puzzle, can be considered the world’s hardest puzzle as it requires over 300 million moves to unlock. Learn more about this confounding puzzle here.

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The World’s Hardest Puzzle

generation lock puzzle
Credit: Kubiya Games

The Generation Puzzle is aptly named, as it may take a generation or more to finish the puzzle. It is a sequential puzzle that does not open with a key, instead you need to move eight sliding, metal pins horizontally in order.

To correctly unlock the puzzle, there is a minimum of 341,718,750 moves. This is where the “Generation” part of the name comes in, as it may take a generation or two to undo. Even if you worked around the clock 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and averaged two seconds per move, the puzzle would still take around 21.6 years to complete.

This may be perfect for avid puzzle collectors but may cause them immense frustration as they try to move each peg over.

What Makes it So Difficult?

The hardest part about this puzzle is the number of moves required to unlock the mechanism. Not only do you need to move eight sliding metal pins, but there is a minimum of over 300 million moves needed to open the lock.

CHECK OUT: 15 Hardest Math Problems In The World (Unsolved)

Who Created the Puzzle?

The Generation Puzzle was created by Kubiya Games, a company that produces several puzzles, games, and toys for all ages. Some of their other notable puzzles are listed below:

  • 250 Move Puzzle Lock
  • Sliding Lock Puzzle
  • 12 Escape Room Wooden Brain Teaser
  • E-Box Puzzle

FAQs About Hard Puzzles

world's hardest puzzle
Credit: Kieran Wood

Is There a 1 Million Piece Puzzle?

COVID brought around a lot of puzzles and consumer brands created bigger and better puzzles to suit their expanding clientele. The U.S. military took this initiative further by creating an online puzzle featuring around 1.2 million pieces. Working with GSD&M and Active Theory, the U.S. Air Force unveiled the online puzzle, encouraging the whole world to collaborate on solving it.

Named the “Million Piece Mission,” the 1.2 million piece puzzle was created using a 1.03 gigapixel image of the fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. To make it easier for puzzle-goers, the puzzle is divided into thousands of separate tile rooms where players can earn points on an updated leaderboard as to how many pieces they place.

Is the Impossible Puzzle Solvable?

Also known as the “Sum and Product Puzzle,” the Impossible Puzzle seems to lack sufficient information for a solution, becoming a logic puzzle. It was first published in 1969 by Hans Freudenthal and the name was coined by Martin Gardner. The puzzle can be solved, but it is not easy and may take several years to complete.

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The world’s hardest puzzles don’t have to just be in a jigsaw or logic form. Like the Generation Lock or the Million Piece Mission above, puzzles can come in many shapes and forms. Some jigsaw puzzles are made of clear material to increase the difficulty, other logic puzzles will create a seemingly impossible set of instructions, and a few will make the scale so large that it will take generations to complete them. If you enjoy puzzling away the day, you might want to check out this world’s hardest puzzle and try your luck today.

Alexandria is a News Editor, writer, and reader of all things literature. She graduated from the State University of... More about Alexandria Wyckoff

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