…but a Mobius strip is not a situation; it’s a one-sided object. Having trouble imagining it? Fire up your copy of Mario Kart 8 and play the first course in the Flower Cup…don’t have that? Come over and play it at my house, unemployment is LONELY. Or you can just try this at home.
- a narrow strip of paper at least 15 cm long (around 6 inches, if you insist on not using metric)
- two different colored pens or pencils
- scotch tape
Got all that? Here goes:
- Use one colored pencil to draw a line from one end of the strip of paper to the other end.
- Flip the strip of paper over. Repeat Step 1 on this side of the paper with the other colored pencil.
- Take one end of the strip in each hand, give the strip a half-twist, and bring the two ends together to form a loop.
- Tape the loop shut.
Congratulations, you’ve made a Mobius strip! Don’t believe that it’s one-sided? Put your finger anywhere on one of the colored lines. You’ll be able to trace along both colored lines- the ones you originally drew on opposite sides of the strip of paper- without ever lifting your fingertip.
The aforementioned Mario Kart 8 course takes advantage of this concept. If you look closely, you’ll see that the track is a Mobius strip. While it may appear that one half of the course is on the underside of the other half, the Mobius strip construction allows a single lap to encompass both “sides” of the track.