11 Fascinating Fractals in Nature

12/30/2008
Weird Science
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Tags: fractals, natural fractals
     
From clouds and snow flakes, to crystals and blood vessels, approximate fractals are easily found in nature. Coined by french mathematician Benoît 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 (by William Bragg)



Coastline fractal (by good day)



Coastline fractal in midwest USA (by good day)



Snow flake fractal (by Sam Javanrouh)



Sea shell fractal (by Sustainable San Mateo)



Sea urchin fractal (by jurvetson)



Fractal tree (by Samuel Judge)



Tree Leave fractal (by Benjamin Pender)



Queen Anne's Lace fractal (by C0N6R355)



Lightning fractal (by howstuffworks)



Broccoli fractal (by tin G)


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