Within the past few months, there’s been a sudden wave of welders posting online images of strange, cube-like projects. These unique pieces are known as “infinity cubes.” While infinity cubes have been around for a while, their re-discovery and quick popularity has been surprising, making us wonder what’s up with these cubes and why do we like them so much?

By MrSteve2018

By Jlywood

The obvious answer, “Because they look cool,” is definitely valid. They do look awesome. But there’s more to it. Infinity cubes are an optical illusion. Initially, they appear to be a typical outline of a cube. But as your mind tries to focus on the corners, your brain realizes the edges don’t connect. Your brain understands that objects floating in air must fall. So your mind assumes the sides of the cube should be falling away from one another. When we realize that they aren’t, it creates a moment where the piece seems to defy reality. Of course, once you look at the full picture, you realize all the sides are connected, just not in the typical way you’d expect. But for an instant, your mind is tricked into believing the impossible.

Each variation of Infinity Cube we’ve seen has its own twist. A particular favorite of ours is this chain infinity cube.

By Pink_Sock_Bandit

So why do our brains make the assumption so quickly that these pieces are impossible, only to realize a few seconds later what’s really going on? It comes down to how all optical illusions work. And in truth, no one knows for sure. But the leading theory is that back when we were cavemen, our minds were developed to make fast decisions based on as little information as possible. When we saw a rock in the air, appearing not to be connected to anything, our brains didn’t say “Let me take a moment to think about this from a different perspective.” They said, “That rock is falling and we need to get the heck away from it.”

Because of this, our minds developed a way to take shortcuts when trying to understand what exactly we’re looking at. For instance, the image below isn’t actually moving. We promise. If you don’t believe us, take a picture of it and you’ll see it still appears to move (even though it’s not).

Illustration by Yurii Perepadia

If you stare at one of the purple shapes in the image, you’ll notice it doesn’t move but all the others appear to rotate (just when you’re not looking directly at them). As your mind tries to make sense of the image, it takes shortcuts. 90% of the time, these shortcuts are fairly accurate and allow us to react quickly. But in certain situations, our minds give us information that is wrong. As we realize the information is incorrect, we suddenly get a sense the impossible has happened (for instance, that a still photo can somehow move).

And that’s the deal with Infinity cubes. If you’re thinking about creating your own infinity cube, know they take a lot of clamps. Lucky for you, we have a truck load of high-quality, reliable clamps to help you get the job done right. In fact, our Strong Hand clamps are one of our favorite welding accessories. Check out all our clamps at the best online price with the button below.