Singaporean Man Solves 8 Rubik’s Cubes 1-Handed Underwater, Holds 12 World Records
Despite its small size, Singapore is no stranger to producing world record holders.
In fact, one Singaporean man holds not one, but 12 Guinness World Records for rapidly solving Rubik’s cubes.
Daryl Tan Hong An is a master of ‘speedcubing’, which is the act of completing the classic cube game as fast as possible. While not conventionally the fastest speedcuber, he instead completes them in various difficult scenarios.
A resurfaced video of him setting the record for the most cubes solved one-handed underwater that went viral is just one example.
He also holds speedcubing records while hanging upside down or while controlling a ping pong ball.
Singaporean man solves 8 Rubik’s cubes underwater with 1 hand
Everyone knows Rubik’s cubes, those multi-coloured cubic puzzles that no amount of random turns could ever solve.
Sure, algorithms and solutions and such can be commonly found nowadays. Even so, the skill of solving them as fast as possible, aka ‘speedcubing’, remains highly impressive.
Enter Mr Tan, who certainly has a claim to being one of the best speedcubers ever.
No, he’s not the conventionally fastest, though his time of 5.88 seconds is still tremendously swift. The record goes to Max Park, who solved a Rubik’s Cube in just 3.13 seconds back in June.
Instead, it’s Mr Tan’s incredible ability to solve the cubes while under tremendous pressure from other activities.
On 8 Oct, the official Guinness World Records Facebook page reuploaded a video of one of Mr Tan’s records, set on 18 Apr 2021. The feat quickly went viral.
The record saw Mr Tan set the record for most rotating puzzle cubes solved one-handed underwater.
Set Rubik’s Cube world record while juggling
That fact that most of us struggle with solving a puzzle cube under normal circumstances makes Mr Tan’s accomplishments all the more impressive.
Solving a Rubik’s Cube requires thinking and concentration — things impaired by having to hold your breath for extended periods of time.
Furthermore, doing it one-handed underwater only adds to the time and pressure.
The record thus shows Mr Tan’s remarkable mix of concentration, quick-thinking, endurance, dexterity, and ability to work under pressure.
He set the record with eight cubes solved, spending what appeared to be three entire minutes underwater.
According to the Guinness World Records, Mr Tan received his first cube at eight years old, only solving it three years later. He then continued to practice and improve, eventually taking part in competitions.
In 2020, he set his first Guinness World Record for the fastest time completing a rotating puzzle cube whilst juggling.
It is unclear what drove him to attempt such a jaw-dropping feat, but he succeeded with a time of 17.16 seconds, breaking the previous record by over five seconds.
On 1 Jan 2023, he welcomed the new year by breaking this record again and doing it in just 13.03 seconds.
Broke 7 world records in a single day
The taste of his first world record hooked Mr Tan immediately.
At just 19 years old, he broke a whopping seven records in one single day on 18 Apr 2021.
For the four records for underwater speedcubing, he spent two months extensively researching and practising breath training.
Aside from those, Mr Tan has also set three records for solving cubes upside down.
Like the underwater challenge, this tested his strength and ability to handle the impairment that comes with blood rushing to your head.
The task is headache-inducing just to look at, let alone actually doing it.
Yet he broke the records anyway, including ones for doing so one-handed and solving two puzzle cubes simultaneously.
Set 5 new puzzle cubes world records in 2023
This year, he’s set five world records, including the aforementioned juggling one.
On 6 May 2023, he achieved the fastest time to solve a puzzle cube on a hoverboard in 9.37 seconds.
In an understatement of the decade, the Guinness page for the record states that Mr Tan “enjoys attempting various cube related records”.
He broke another record for the fastest 100m while solving a puzzle cube. He achieved this on 15 May 2023 with a time of 13.61 seconds.
While on the less impressive side at a glance, everyone knows how hard it is to use something like a phone while sprinting, let alone solving a Rubik’s Cube.
Mr Tan returned to a familiar environment on 19 June 2023. Submerged in a pool, he set the bar at 9.29 seconds for solving a 3×3 puzzle cube underwater.
On 20 June 2023, he achieved a time of 15.84 seconds for solving a Rubik’s Cube while controlling a ping pong ball.
The difficulty of such a feat needs no elaboration.
Wants to spread cubing among Singaporeans
Mr Tan has put his skills to good use, now working on weekends as a speedcubing coach. He has expressed his desire to advocate cubing to Singaporeans.
He also intends to inspire children to “put down the phones” and instead “challenge their minds” with the colourful cube puzzles.
Mr Tan certainly makes Singapore proud by holding 12 Guinness World Records titles — more than any other cuber in the world.
“Breaking world records and breaking boundaries is my forte,” he said.
We can’t wait to see what he shatters next.
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