This blivet is reminiscent of an M.C. Escher print—it portrays two impossible perspectives at once, creating a 'lost' layer between the top two rods, and an impossible extra, vanishing rod in between the bottom two.

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Wiktionary: Impossible trident illusion

The blivet is an undecidable figure, an optical illusion and an impossible object. It is an object that appears to have three cylindrical prongs, but at the base is only divided into two rectangular prisms: the top surface of the furthest prism becomes the furthest prong while the surface facing the viewer becomes empty space, and vice versa for the closer prism; the third, central prong is formed from the empty space between the prisms.

It was known in 1964, and one was shown on the March 1965 cover of Mad magazine (who dubbed it the poiuyt, derived from the last 6 letters on the top row of a typewriter keyboard, right to left), and has appeared numerous times since then. An anonymously-contributed version described as a hole location gauge was printed in the June 1964 issue of Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction, with the comment that "this outrageous piece of draughtsmanship evidently escaped from the Finagle & Diddle Engineering Works".

The artist M.C. Escher was famous for utilizing this object in many of his drawings, lithographs, woodcuts and many such other media.

In Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, Rawlins defines a blivet as "10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound sack."

Alternative namesEdit

  • Devil's pitchfork
  • Devil's tuning fork
  • Hole location gauge
  • Mark III blivet
  • Poiuyt
  • Rectabular excrusion bracket
  • Three-legged widget
  • Three pronged blivet
  • Trichotometric indicator support
  • Two-pronged trident
  • Widget

The word blivet is sometimes used as a cadigan.

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