Two young topology students succeed in inverting the universe and capture it in a box with a small observation window. They look through the window and could see sky, stars etc.

Earthlings see the eye in the sky. They simply can not understand the eye object. Finally they shoot the rockets aimed at the eye. The youths hurt their eye. They get angry and put a burning match stick through the window. I do not remember the end of the story.

There is some discussion on Moebius strips, envelopes etc.

  • You say "story;" is this a short story then?
    – DavidW
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 16:37
  • When did you read this? Do you recall if it was in an anthology, a magazine or online?
    – DavidW
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


This is The IFTH of OOFTH by Walter Tevis.

“George,” he said, “there is something in there.” His voice now was very steady and yet strange.

“What?” I asked. What else do you say?

“A little ball,” he said. “A little round ball. Quite misted over, but nonetheless a ball.”

Shortly afterwards the protagonist gets shot in the eye and goes on a rampage with a red hot poker...

Originally published in 1957 in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, you can read a full version of the story here.

  • Thanks Valorum. Thank you very much. so fast!
    – mspd2003
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 16:59

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