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FRACTALS IN NATURE

Crystallized minerals are one example of very few nature elements that present regular forms, however nature is wise about fractals too, and it generates big complex structures from repeating small very basic structures.


TreeFallen tree
The self similarity in the structure of a tree can make their different parts exchange their roles. In the tree of the photo, the trunk and the branches below it behave as roots. The branches above it behave as new trees.
WoodWood
Under the bark of a tree, the wood is formed by a fractal structure of cellulose strings.
Fern leafFern leaf fragmentFern leaf
It is one of the most common examples we can find when describing a fractal structure within nature. Its main leaves are formed by smaller leaves similar to the big one. This structure can be seen in several bushes from different vegetal species.
Fennel flowerFennel flower fragmentFennel flower
The main flower is arranged by several flowers of smaller size, these composed by even smaller flowers at the same time. This organization succeeds thanks to the main stem’s division into a group of smaller stems, each of which is divided again into a group of smaller ones.
The aspect of the secondary flower is similar to the main flower.
Wild plantWild plant fragmentWild plant
The main stem is divided into several smaller stems and at that very conjunction the leaves are born. The same structure is repeated at the end of each small stem, selfsimilar to the previous one, and so on.
WavesBog's surface
The wind creates waves that are composed by smaller selfsimilar waves.
mamatus cloudsCloudy sky
This kind of clouds are known as "mammatus". Their general aspect is that of a big cloud formed by groups of smaller clouds.
Romanesco in natural lightRomanesco in artificial lightBroccoli : Romanesco variety
Its structure consists on a spiral of cones that runs from its base – where the bigger cones are- to its top point – where the smaller cones are. (This disposition makes the vegetable look like a cone too.) Each cone is similar to the vegetable as a whole, considering that each cone is also formed by a spiral of smaller cones and so on.
Vine leafVine leaf fragmentVine leaf
The main capillaries are separated into smaller ones and so on in order to be able to feed every cell of the leaf.
ClodsBog's dry bottom
The clods created by the drought are formed by smaller selfsimilar clods.
Fractures in the iceIce fractures in a glacier
The fractures in the ice are divided into smaller fractures, and so on.

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If you want to discover the hidden geometry in this amazing natural structures you can read the introduction to fractals.
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