Here we have the impossible staircase, which violates the laws of physics and makes a mockery of basic common sense by looping back on itself, so that when you climb its steps, you endlessly ascend. These are the stairs that never end, they just go on and on, my friend. Think of the possibilities- like a mouse in a wheel, you can StairMaster up or down forever and never get anywhere.

First envisaged by Lionel and Roger Penrose in 1959 as a “continuous staircase”, and popularized by Escher’s famous lithograph, ‘Ascending and Descending,’ the incredible illusion of these endless stairs has been created in three-dimensional space by architect Rafael Nelson Aboganda at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Is this for real? Watch the clip below, laugh at people’s confusion, and decide for yourself!

Amazing, isn’t it? Although, come to think of it, it is a bit surprising that this fine academic institution allows this crazy staircase to lurk in one of their buildings, without any warning signs. It’s hard enough trying to find your way around campus without logically-impossible traps set for unsuspecting students. Just thinking about those endless stairs makes my legs ache. And it must be a huge fire hazard.

If you’re skeptical and wondering how this staircase really works, this next clip should answer your questions:

The legendary Penrose stairs by Aboganda: making us fitter, healthier, and smarter, one step at a time.

Featured image by Sakurambo