A Jigsaw Puzzle As Infinite As The Cosmos

The Infinite Galaxy Map can be added to forever, or at least until you run out of table space.

The universe is infinite, at least on a human scale. Comparatively, most jigsaw puzzles only feel infinite, especially when you’re forced to do one at a family gathering. But the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle actually is endless. The puzzle, which was designed by the MIT alums at generative design studio Nervous System (no stranger to jigsaw puzzle design), tiles continuously so you can literally keep adding to it forever.

The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle features a NASA satellite photograph of the center of the Milky Way, but that’s not what makes it special: it’s the shape of the pieces. They’re modeled after a dissected Klein bottle, a mathematical concept first described in the 19th century. This concept describes an infinite surface which, when traveled across in a straight line, eventually puts you back where you started, except flipped upside down.

What this means is that each one of the 133 pieces in the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle can be placed on either side, if you only flip it upside down. Consequently, the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle has no edges as we usually understand them in a jigsaw puzzle: any piece can be an edge piece, so you can never put it together the same way twice. It also means that if you wanted to, you could buy multiple Infinite Galaxy Pizzles, and keep on tiling them forever.

Originally available in a small production run, the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle quickly sold out. The next batch is now available for preorder from Nervous System for $100 apiece, and will begin shipping in early 2017.

[Photos: via Nervous System]

About the author

John Brownlee is a design writer who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can email him at john.brownlee+fastco@gmail.com.