Today’s puzzle is a little different in a sense that it’s not really a puzzle, albeit it puzzles your mind just as much as any other puzzle. It’s not a magic trick either, although some folks will think of it that way. It’s called the Wide and Long Puzzle and it’s simply an optical illusion that plays with perspective very well.
There has been many versions of this puzzle, but the one I have here, made of wood, was manufactured by Jean Claude Constantin and looks stunning. The concept is no more than two pieces of wood, part of two boxes seen in different perspectives, which appear to be of different sizes: One box appears to be longer and the other looks wider, when in reality both main rectangles have exactly the same dimensions.
The puzzle is made in a way that it’s easy to swap the two pieces and see for yourself. There are two holes cut out at the base of the tray, so that even if the pieces are tight in place, you can still remove them pretty easily. The two rectangles were made of two different types of wood to give the contrast and the perspective effect more emphasis. The tray measures 10.5 x 15cm (4.1″ x 5.9″), which is enough to get a good idea of what’s going on…
This is rated by PuzzleMaster as a level 7/10, but honestly, I’m not sure what’s there to classify as a level of difficulty. As a mere optical illusion, I don’t see the point in rating it as “Challenging” – It’s something to experience rather than to challenge you… Unless you don’t understand how perspective works, which I’m sure you were thought in 8th grade.
As mentioned above, there have been several versions of this puzzle, and if by any chance you can’t get your hands on one of these, you can simply make one out of paper or cardboard, as the effect would be just the same. Keep in mind that only the two main rectangles need to be the same size. The other parts of the boxes can have different dimensions, as you can see from the photos.
The Wide and Long Puzzle, which by the way has a deceiving name, because it’s not a puzzle in the traditional sense of the word, is a fantastic experience and something that will sure intrigue many of your friends and relatives. It’s something that you should have on your desk, as it will certainly be a starting point to some interesting conversations.
If you like optical illusions, then you’re love this website.