# Blog

## Torus maze

By

,

You’ve seen mazes on paper, you may even have explored big mazes on foot. But this maze has a geometric twist – it’s on the surface of a donut. This is a torus maze!

### What to do

This is a maze. There is a start and a finish labelled inside the maze, and you need to get from one to the other.

There are places on the edge where you can escape the maze. If you come off the bottom of the maze, start again at the top of the maze. If you go off the top, then start at the bottom. If you go off the side, start again on the other side. There are symbols at each exit to show you exactly where to go.

### What’s happening?

The maze in this activity wraps around. If you go off the left side, you end up on the right. If you go off the top, you end up at the bottom. It can be a bit tricky to remember to loop, but with some practice you should be able to solve the maze.

To work out what shape this map represents, imagine rolling the maze into a cylinder so the bottom and top line up. Now imagine stretching the cylinder so the left side and right side meet. This looped cylinder is a donut shape, also known as a torus.

Maps such as this maze are quite common in old computer games. So next time you play Chrono Trigger or Asteroids, think about the shape of the world you’re exploring. It might be a torus!

A map of our sphere-shaped planet would have different rules. If you have a hot air balloon and fly due west, you’ll go off the side of the map and end up on the other side. However, things are different at the north and south. If you start in New Zealand and head north, eventually you’ll reach the North Pole at the top of the map. But if you keep going, you don’t instantly end up at the bottom of the map like in the maze. Instead, you’ll stay at the top of the map, north of Europe, heading south!

Why are fusion reactors donut shaped?

If you’re after more science news for kids, subscribe to Double Helix magazine!

Categories:

Tags:

## Similar posts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By submitting this form, you give CSIRO permission to publish your comments on our websites. Please make sure the comments are your own. For more information please see our terms and conditions.