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Geometric similarities in nature

Exploring nature we see countless shapes and patterns, some of them being replicated in various sizes. Take a look at how small elements of nature can have the same structure as the larger ones, even artificial:

7. Hexagonal Patterns

Every bee knows that the hexagon can make the most efficient two-dimensional pattern when trying to save as much space as possible, but sometimes, rocks do that too. In Northern Ireland, there is a special beach called the Giant’s Causeway, where basalt columns as high as 12 meters, are interlocking in the same “beehive pattern”, as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. That is quite something!

Hexagonal pattern – Honeycomb & Granite formattion

6. Quasicrystals

are a type of crystals that behave differently than other crystals, having their chemical composition based on multiple symmetries. In large scale examples we see similar structures being used in Iranian architecture, 2000 years before their discovery.

Tesselation – Cvasicrystals & Architectural structure

5. Growth spirals

Plants and biological elements use spiral movements to evolve from a state to another or to arrange their elements. Most of them can be recognized in the arrangements of flower or leaves, but less known are the ones found in some micro-structures as small as 2 nano-meters, similar to the ones found on strawberries.

Parastichopus x spiral – Microstructure & Strawberry

5. The octahedron

We are used to salt grains and don’t quite bother with them, but their crystal structure is an interesting one as it is an octahedron, a shape that we are more familiar with when speaking of the Great Pyramid of Gizah. This type of structure is less common in nature, given it’s perfect right angles, but nature “salt never give up”.

Octahedron – Salt Crystals & Keops Pyramid

3. Star polygons

With three, five and eight points, starred structures are frequent in nature. There are even some biological encounters, like the sea star, but perhaps we are most used seeing this type of pattern in flowers or snowflakes.

Hexagon/Octagon – Snowflake & Field Flower

2. The dodecahedron

is one of nature’s favorite and when it comes to displaying it, it doesn’t give back. Tom Noddy has a great way in showing us how water bubbles can have a structure similar to that of metallic crystals, by using the same laws of geometry used in the beehive. Similar to bees, water will try to rearrange all its bubble in the most efficient way possible and, depending on the number of bubbles, sometimes that shape is a dodecahedron.

Dodecahedron – Metallic Crystal & Water Bubble

1. Pattern cymatics

One of the most subtle similarities of nature can be the one of the cymatic patterns with various animal patterns, like a turtle’s shell or leopard’s patterned fur. The resemblance is uncanny and given their visual complexity deserves a rightful first place!

Cymatic pattern – Chladni Plate & Leopard

One Comment

  1. Geta Ionescu Geta Ionescu December 6, 2017

    Minunate articole, gasesc fascinanta tesatura Universului si Inteligenta din spatele ei.
    O sa urmaresc cu placere viitoarele articole.

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