Designs of Nature

Hello Everyone!

This is Vanya. I haven’t been here from a long time, as I had my exams and boatload of schoolwork. So today, I thought of sharing a new thing I learnt , which made me to like maths. It was an afternoon in school, when my Science teacher called me and showed this to me. And that’s how I came to know about fractals.

How do leaves have a specific pattern? Why does lighting appears in a specific shapes which looks like tree branches ? (at least it looked like that to me :P) Why do succulents looks like a geometry diagram? Well, it’s all science. These are called Fractals. Now, what exactly are fractals? According to Encyclopedia of Britannica, ”Fractal, inย mathematics, any of a class of complex geometric shapes that commonly have fractional dimensionโ€. In other words, Fractals are the repeated patterns.They can be found anywhere. From lightings to leaves, these are present. And as the encyclopedia said, it is a part of Maths – which is a great example for how maths can be applied in our day-to-day life. Of course, they can be found in every part of the science, from astronomy to computer science. But I’ll talk about fractals in nature today.

Back in 1918, a mathematician called Felix Hausdorff introduced this concept. We can find these almost anywhere. Look at a tree. The branches have ap particular pattern. They are also Fractals. You might have observed a pattern in sea shells. They are fractals too. Our blood veins, and alveoli in lungs, everything is a fractal. Even bird feathers have patterns.

Photo by Rie Sadohara on A great example of fractals.

But why do fractals Exists? : This question may leads to the same answer why do bees build hexagonal honeycomb cells – efficiency. For example, when it comes to plants, it is very efficient to expose to the light and attractive – and that’s why flowers have a patterned way to grow petals. The flowers attract the pollinators, not only with the colour but also the pattern – which is a fractal. I assume that even various animals have fractals for these two reasons. And when it comes to efficiency, the design might be useful is terms like space saving, exposure of light etc.

How can we use these designs? : The father of Permaculture, Bill Mollison says ”By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.” while explaining the principles of permaculture. Like that, if we try to copy the designs and patterns of the nature, it’ll be more efficient. An example for this is using honeycomb designs in architecture. Similar experiments have been done with termite mounds too. Copying the tricks of nature is called biomimicry.

I think we can copy at least some patterns of Nature – as they already exists in nature and they will be more sustainable too. Human mind is very creative, so how about using nature’s designs in man made things?

Have you observed various patterns in nature too? I’d love to know more about them…

13 thoughts on “Designs of Nature

  1. I learned about fractals from a New York Times science article. They are so fascinating!!


  2. Hi Vanya, nice to see you again!
    Wow! It is so mystical to see Math in nature! Your photographs are so beautiful! โค
    Coincidentally, just a few days back, we had a workshop on Biomimicry at school! There were several talks on the Fibonacci Sequence in nature and how we have taken inspiration from them. It is an intriguing forte!
    Lovely post!!
    Have a great day! ๐Ÿ˜Š


  3. Hi Vanya! How are you?? Wow, this post is so beautiful ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ It makes me love nature even more than before๐Ÿ’–


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