Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fascinating Fractals in Nature

From clouds and snow flakes, to crystals and blood vessels, approximate fractals are easily found in nature. Coined by french mathematician BenoƮt Mandelbrot in 1975, a "fractal" is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole, a property called "self-similarity". In the case of natural fractals, they display self-similar structure over an extended -but finite- scale range.

Meet some of the most beautiful fractals we've found in nature.

Peacock fractal

Coastline fractal

Coastline fractal in midwest USA

Snow flake fractal

Sea shell fractal

Sea urchin fractal

Fractal tree

Tree Leave fractal

Queen Anne's Lace fractal

Lightning fractal

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