This 500 Year-Old Da Vinci Puzzle Has Adults Going Crazy Trying To Solve It
In this world, there are books, there are puzzles, and there are books that are full of puzzles. Most puzzled-filled books are typically intended for the use of children. Until now, that is: The Codex Silenda is a wooden book filled with individual pages that consist of a gorgeously crafted, yet extremely hard puzzle. This puzzle-book helps you to satisfy more than one of your geekiest adult fantasies all in one.
It is almost impossible for someone to be able to truly capture how cool this thing really is, but we’re going to give it a shot: The Codex Silenda is a totally physical, hands-on experience, and finding the solution is a lot harder than one would think, making it not as suitable for children.
The creator of this book/puzzle, Brady Whitney, came up with the idea for his senior thesis while attending Iowa State University. He had this to say about the Codex Silenda:
“I never was a fan of jigsaw puzzles,” Whitney said. “You get a really cool picture out of the deal, but it doesn’t have that satisfying solution or process to me. That’s why this thing works a little bit differently. You’re almost working your way backwards from all the different solutions to the problem,” Whitney explained.
This is the Codex Silenda. It is a book that is filled with tons of puzzles, all of which were made out of just over 100 pieces of laser-cut birch wood and maple.
No cheating is allowed here. In order to turn each page and get to the next puzzle, you have to solve the puzzle from the previous page. In other words, you won’t be able to open the second page until you complete the first puzzle.
Whitney claims to have designed the mechanisms inside the puzzle in order to move along the x- and y-axes so they’d be thin, replicating the pages of a typical book.
The book starts off with what Whitney calls a “Mechanical Iris.” This mechanical iris is a series of levers that you have to figure out, but you have to figure it out in the correct order before you can go to the next page.
Now obviously some of these puzzles will be easier than others, but none of them is a walk in the park.
“Some puzzles have the most simplistic solution but they appear very, very complex,” Whitney said. “You have to see through the enigma of the solution, which requires a shift in perception in order to to solve,” he explained.
In order to make his senior thesis come to life, Whitney originally had set up a Kickstarter with a goal of $30,000 to help create these, but he had quickly surpassed that goal. So far, Whitney’s Codex Silenda has made over $167,000.
If this hasn’t convinced you enough to pledge to this genius project in order to get a Codex Silenda of your own, check out the video of the puzzle-book in action below.