A SCIENTIFIC prop built by a Wharfedale-based scientist has appeared on national TV.

Millions of viewers saw the ‘12 tank puzzle’ featured on the BBC’s The one Show on Wednesday, January 9.

The brain-teaser challenges people to work out, or guess, which of 12 interconnected tanks will fill with water first.

Dr Marty Jopson, from Otley, had painstakingly built the puzzle’s apparatus in his old Leeds workshop last year.

Marty, who is the show’s regular science presenter and one of the driving forces behind Otley Science Festival, had put the prop in storage until it was needed.

When he got a call from the show a few weeks ago to say it was going to feature soon, he took it to Otley Courthouse to apply the finishing touches in that venue’s new Maker Space area.

After that the painted and re-assembled puzzle was transported and set up outside The One Show’s studio at Broadcasting House, London, for the broadcast.

The show’s guests - including actors Steve Coogan and John C Reilly - and viewers, who voted online, were then asked to try and work out the solution.

Marty said: “This was a really popular item for The One Show.

“They put the puzzle online and in just four minutes had 15,000 people submit answers.

“So, we will hopefully do some more - and this time the puzzles will be 100 per cent Otley Maker Space constructions!

“This puzzle’s been around for a while now and it sheds some interesting light on the way different people think and approach puzzle-solving.

“Somebody at BBC Glasgow had got wind of it and said ‘do you think Marty could make this’, so I said ‘sure’ - and then thought ‘how am I going to do this?’.

“People like these kinds of puzzles and it would be fun to make more of these sort of physical props, which you don’t see as much of these days.”

The Maker Space, created in the block of the Courthouse that used to be the Citizens Advice office, offer rooms and equipment for all kinds of creative art and craft projects.

Operating on a monthly membership basis, it was described by the Courthouse’s Chair, David Robson, as being filled with ‘as many tools as possible to help people make things’.

In operation since last autumn, the facility will be officially opened on Sunday, February 24 - and will hold an open session before that from 7pm on Thursday, January 31. For more details visit www.otleymakerspace.co.uk or search for @makerOtley on Twitter.