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One Billion Mazes
February 20, 2006 7:21 AM   Subscribe

One Billion Mazes This site contains one billion mazes in high-quality printable PDF format. You may view, print and solve these mazes... and yes, there are exactly one billion mazes!
posted by ajbattrick (43 comments total)

 
Truly aMAZEing!
*ducks*
posted by slimepuppy at 7:26 AM on February 20, 2006


One Billion!!! Wow!! YAY!!!!!
posted by cdcello at 7:26 AM on February 20, 2006


Only a billion? What am I supposed to do once I've finished them all?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:28 AM on February 20, 2006


According to Neil Gaiman, there is only one labyrinth.
posted by illovich at 7:31 AM on February 20, 2006


As a Minotaur, I wholeheartedly support confusing the hell out of people in mazes
posted by Smedleyman at 7:33 AM on February 20, 2006


Wow
posted by dead_ at 7:37 AM on February 20, 2006


is this the new sudoku
posted by jmackin at 7:37 AM on February 20, 2006


i'll get right to work on those
posted by obeygiant at 7:49 AM on February 20, 2006


obeygiant, I have to ask. Are you Shepard Fairey or just a fan?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:58 AM on February 20, 2006


So when did you say you needed those by?
posted by slatternus at 8:06 AM on February 20, 2006


Oh man. When I was a kid, I used to *love* making my own mazes, and then trade them with friends to see who could solve them.

*regresses*
posted by crawl at 8:09 AM on February 20, 2006


The last thing I saw grouped in millions were chapters in a Thomas Pynchon novel.
posted by slatternus at 8:09 AM on February 20, 2006


Damn. I'm stuck on #40,003,038. It's a toughy!
posted by zonkout at 8:14 AM on February 20, 2006


Anyone who prints these out automatically qualifies for the 2006 Environmental Enemy #1 award.
posted by slatternus at 8:19 AM on February 20, 2006


Zonkout, you have to take a left at the split next to the dancing monkey.
posted by Atreides at 8:23 AM on February 20, 2006


I'd like to know the tech behind this. These seem to be computer generated. Are the PDFs created on the fly or stored in a cache?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2006


"Anyone who prints these out automatically qualifies for the 2006 Environmental Enemy #1 award."

I had a lot of trouble grokking that there really are a billion mazes there. This unsettles me greatly.

A billion seconds is about 32 years.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:29 AM on February 20, 2006


Is there any discernable link between the number of the maze and the complexity?
posted by patricio at 8:33 AM on February 20, 2006


Damn. I'm stuck on #40,003,038. It's a toughy!

It's a mirror image of #40,020,773 upside down, if that helps.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:42 AM on February 20, 2006


Ethereal: Actually 999.999.999. One of them is a mirrored version of another. I could tell you which ones, but I guess I'll let you search for it.
posted by qvantamon at 8:42 AM on February 20, 2006


Either wgp is serious, or our sense of humor is disturbingly similar.

If he is serious, he spoiled my joke :(
posted by qvantamon at 8:45 AM on February 20, 2006


via digg. with the same title.
posted by bigdave at 8:46 AM on February 20, 2006


But why?
posted by raedyn at 8:52 AM on February 20, 2006


There are only 2,500 mazes; however, 1,000,000,000 "slots" exist through which these mazes are filtered via a complex algorithm. I am unable to solve any of them. Alas.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:59 AM on February 20, 2006


There's really no way to prove that there are a billion unique mazes.
posted by graventy at 9:00 AM on February 20, 2006


Thanks for the help everybody. Now on to 40,003,039!
posted by zonkout at 9:01 AM on February 20, 2006


I am unable to solve any of them.

You should be able to solve any maze by following the left wall. By doing so you will traverse all walls until you encounter the exit.

Disclaimer: I haven't tried this on the mazes off this web site, but it's worked 100% of the time in English Garden mazes.
posted by Mutant at 9:42 AM on February 20, 2006


You should be able to solve any maze by following the left wall.

my finger rubbed the ink off ... now what do i do?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:14 AM on February 20, 2006


Mutant:

This will only work if both the start and end are on an exterior wall. If any can be inside the maze, cycles will screw you up.

For instance, this won't work if you wake up inside a maze (for a trivial example, suppose you wake up with a pillar to your left, you will only walk around the pillar).

It also won't work if you are searching for something inside a maze. If there is a circular corridor in the maze, you'll never get inside the corridor, only walk around it.

But for the mazes on this site, yeah, I think this method will work fine.

On preview: pyramid termite: if you can rub it enough to make it disappear, congratulations, you made a new exit :)
posted by qvantamon at 10:23 AM on February 20, 2006


Done! It was easier than I expected.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:29 AM on February 20, 2006


So someone must be paying for a gazillion Gbytes of storage for hosting this website with all the pdf files, right?
posted by sour cream at 11:19 AM on February 20, 2006


imagine all one billion of these mazes existing for real, then imagine being given immortality...but having to traverse all one billion in order to be free. sounds like fun!
posted by 6am at 11:33 AM on February 20, 2006


There's really no way to prove that there are a billion unique mazes.

Wouldn't this depend? It would seem that you can inductively prove that there are an infinite number of unique mazes.

Proving that there are a billion unique mazes on this particular site seems like it would be possible, but time consuming and not worth the effort.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:36 AM on February 20, 2006


Plus, unique doesn't mean good. Moving one wall makes the maze different.
posted by graventy at 11:40 AM on February 20, 2006


My guess:

They use the maze number as a seed for a pseudo-random number generator, and generate all the mazes on the fly that way. It *is* possible to store all the mazes locally (Google could do it easy), but it'd take a lot of time just to generate 'em all.

Further, if you wake up inside the maze, the left-hand-rule (or right-hand-rule) still works, since it takes you through every path of the maze eventually. It can fail, however, if there are any loops in the maze.
posted by JHarris at 11:58 AM on February 20, 2006


JHarris: that's what I was talking about. It fails if there are loops and you start at the middle of the maze. If you start at the border, I think it still works even with loops (as you'd never be caught in a loop starting from the border), but you won't get to visit the inside of any loop (thus, the exit-in-the-border restriction)
posted by qvantamon at 1:10 PM on February 20, 2006


Daedalus 2.1 is free maze making software for windows (the secret fun to it is in the File > Run Script menu) along with a ton of other fun things and information at this site.
posted by gren at 2:18 PM on February 20, 2006


I just finished puzzle #1,000,000,000! It was damn easy.
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:51 PM on February 20, 2006


what's amazing is this is one billion mazes *and their solutions*.

someone's a pdf generating wizard.
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:48 PM on February 20, 2006


Cruel and unusual punishment for obsessive compulsive internet users everywhere. If you know one, you've heard the last of them.
posted by aletheia at 7:34 PM on February 20, 2006


It's amazing what they can do with random number generators these days.
posted by Ironwolf at 2:42 AM on February 21, 2006


Some people see one billion mazes, others see one billion Dungeons!
posted by Sphinx at 2:03 PM on February 21, 2006


Call me when they reach a bazillion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:33 PM on February 21, 2006


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