The World’s Hardest Maze Only Geniuses Can Solve

Lose yourself in the most challenging maze: If you can find a way to solve it, you can consider yourself a genius.

CuriousMazes-pp152Courtesy Dr. Julie E. Bounford

Mazes resonate with us because they can represent life’s twists and turns, explains Julie E. Bounford, PhD, the author of The Curious History of Mazes. “The process of getting lost in a maze is transformative, allowing for self-discovery at each turn and fulfillment as we find our way,” she says. Her new book is an anthology of some of the world’s most fascinating mazes. Bounford also traces the 4,000-year history of these captivating paths and labyrinths.

Bounford lists the most fascinating mazes on the planet, whether they’re found in books, on sand, in mosaics, or in fields and gardens. For example, “Arthur Deacon’s Turtle Labyrinth” (on pages 45 and 46 in the book) challenges you to use your finger to traverse a circuitous route “using one uninterrupted line,” or you could be “devoured by a ghost.”

“Mazes are for those who want to tune in to their innate sense of curiosity, to meditate, learn, and reconnect with their sense of fun,” Bounford tells Reader’s Digest. They require you to engage both the logical and creative sides of your brain—an act that can lead to meditative joy, she says.

If that’s true, the most challenging mazes should bring about the greatest joy, right? We asked Bounford to point out the most challenging maze in her book. Among the possibilities are the Turtle Labyrinth (mentioned earlier) and the “Mandala Maze.” But Bounford believes the “Peace Maze” takes the prize, and it’s pictured above. The original version is a shrubbery maze planted in Castlewellan, Northern Ireland. Here’s what Bounford has to say about it: “It symbolizes the road to peace, the most challenging walk of all.”

When you reach the center of the actual Peace Maze, you’ll find a bell you can ring—it’s said to be one of the most frequently rung bells in Ireland. Next, check out the math puzzle only geniuses can solve. And if that’s too easy for you, try these 24 trivia questions only geniuses can answer.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest and in a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction, and her first full-length manuscript, "The Trust Game," was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.