Washington University in St. Louis junior Kevin Hays has set a world record for most Rubik’s Cubes solved underwater in one breath.
On April 19, Hays solved eight standard Rubik’s Cubes while sitting at the bottom of a dunk tank on the campus of Washington University at its annual Thurtene Carnival. The attempt took two minutes and five seconds.
A small contingent of carnival goers and Rubik’s Cube fans clutched umbrellas and smart phones while chanting “Kevin, Kevin.”
The old record, set by Hays’ friend Anthony Brooks in Philadelphia, was five.
Hays’ effort is expected to soon be recognized by the Guinness World Records.
Hays, a member of the Washington University swim team, needed two tries to break the record. During his first attempt, Hays only solved four cubes before surfacing.
“That’s four more than I have solved in my entire life,” joked Jay Murry, Washington University Bears play-by-play announcer who called Hays’ attempt.
Hays blamed nerves and, after a short break, tried again. This time, he managed to solve eight cubes — one more than his goal of seven.
“I might have been able to get nine but I might have passed out,” Hays joked.
Hays is considered one of the world’s best cubers and is the undisputed “big cube” king. He holds the current world record for fastest 6×6 solve – 1.40.86 seconds – and also has broken records for the 5×5 and 7×7 Rubik’s Cube.
Hays, who is majoring in computer science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and in mathematics in Arts & Sciences, said he will retire from competitive cubing this summer after competing at the U.S. Nationals in South Carolina and World Championships in Brazil.