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Superplexus Vortex Puzzle Makes My Head Spin

by Lambert Varias

As its name implies, the Superplexus Vortex is a super-sized version of the Perplexus, a plastic spherical maze. The Superplexus Vortex not only has a catchy name, the mere sight of it is probably enough to make a drunk man vomit. In marketing speak, the gigantic maze is “a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, spirals, and staircases – even a vortex.”

Superplexus Vortex 1

At least the path has arrows. As far as I know (and that’s not a lot, believe me) each Superplexus Vortex was handmade by a man named Michael McGinnis (he’s the smiling bearded dude shown below).

Superplexus Vortex 2

The acrylic sphere containing the maze measures 36″ in diameter and can be tilted in any direction, and you’ll definitely do a lot of tilting (and swearing) as you try to roll the steel ball from the start to the end of the maze.

Superplexus Vortex 3

Here are some more daunting facts about the Superplexus Vortex: “The entire track laid out on a straight line is 31′ longer than a football field. In addition to the track, the ball must travel on a 1/16″ diameter stainless steel wire pathway at eight points along the journey… successful completion requires a minimum of 425 turns (plane changes) of the sphere–without letting the marble fall off the track.” In other words, you’ll never beat this puzzle.

Superplexus Vortex 4

But perhaps the most difficult aspect of the Superplexus Vortex is its price – Hammacher Schlemmer is selling it for $30,000 (USD). As a consolation, the store does claim that you can adjust the difficulty for your own Superplexus Vortex. Then again, what good is a $30,000 maze if you can solve it in a minute?

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[pics via Michael’s wife aka thesingingbird‘s photostream]




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