Who said math can’t be interesting? Fractals like these can seem too perfect to be true, but they occur in nature and plants all the time and are examples of math, physics, and natural selection at work!

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When we see order in the world, we think it must be some human hand that made it so. But Galileo Galilei in his Il Saggiatore wrote, “[The universe] is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures.” There is order in nature, and artists who want to reproduce it faithfully spend hours studying nature’s forms.

Civilization has struggled to understand this perfect geometry for thousands of years. In the 4th century, Plato believed that symmetry in nature was proof of universal forms; in 1952, the famous code-breaker Alan Turing wrote a book trying to explain how such patterns in nature could be formed.

Now you can join in the debate. Upvote your favorite photo from the list, or upload your own!

#1 Aloe Polyphylla

Aloe Polyphylla

namraka Report

VilémRein 2 years ago

Almost all of the pictures contain spirals of leaves or flowers. The spirals are mathematically described as Fibbonaci spirals and these are formed due to specific angels in which new organs are formed at the border region of the shoot apical meristem of the plant. The angle is given by the genotype and the places where are the primordia of the new organs formed are characterized by formation of a local high concentration of the plant hormone auxin. And because the plant maintains the shoot apical meristem throughout its life, there are new structures also in old plants formed in this regular shape (the only precondition is there is no damage close to the apical meristem.

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#2 Romanesco Broccoli

Romanesco Broccoli

Didier Kobi Report

Rism 3 years ago

Whoah! Never see this in supermarket

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#3 Crassula Buddha's Temple Plant

Crassula Buddha's Temple Plant

Grenville Report

Camerön McNamara 2 years ago

Does it not spiral in?

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#4 Amazon Lily Pad

Amazon Lily Pad

Amazon Lily Pad

imgkid.com Report

BarbaraO'Connor 3 years ago

Perfection in nature

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#5 Dahlia


amazon2008 Report

DariaB 2 years ago

Looks like it will make sounds if I squeeze it.

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#6 Flowers Like Jeweled Carpet

Flowers Like Jeweled Carpet

Morgan Glines Report

DanielleBrown 3 years ago

Nature is so wonderful

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#7 Drosophyllum Lusitanicum

Drosophyllum Lusitanicum

ramamayoor Report

wolvesrcool 3 years ago

to beautiful for words!!

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#8 Hoya Aldrichii

Hoya Aldrichii

John Tann Report

wildandfree 3 years ago

I love to eat the nectar from flowers of Hoya!

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#9 Fractal Cabbage

Fractal Cabbage

Epochalypse Report

DanielleBrown 3 years ago

It's too pretty to eat

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#10 Sunflower


Luca Postpischl Report

PiNeAPplES 3 years ago

Does anyone else see a faint star shape?

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#11 Camelia


Robbie Report

DianaShively 3 years ago

Love these so much!

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#12 Spiraling Succulent

Spiraling Succulent

etsy.com Report

#13 Thinking Cactus

Thinking Cactus

gigingir Report

LouVarner 3 years ago

it looks like a brain to me. is that why it's called thinking cactus?

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#14 Viola Sacculus

Viola Sacculus

brcotte2007 Report

VilémRein 2 years ago

Wow, this was for me a new plant, I have never seen it before. For me a wonderful plant. Will immediately look for more info, about this miracle...

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#15 Ludwigia Sedioides

Ludwigia Sedioides

Donna Falcone Report

JoiPfost 3 years ago

This makes me want to learn to paint. It's so beautiful!

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#16 Lobelia


George F. Mobley Report

Colin Taylor 2 years ago

"One bite and the Bishop was sick" (Sir Henry at Rawlinson End)

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#17 Succulents


Jolina Report

SherBear 3 years ago

Looks like Hens & Chicks.

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#18 Pelecyphora Aselliformis

Pelecyphora Aselliformis

Peter Hunter Report

MelihYalciner 3 years ago

Welche name hat diese schöne Pflanze?

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#19 Chameleon Tail

Chameleon Tail

Popumon Tih Report

BobJoeman 3 years ago

That ain't no plant.

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#20 Leaf Ladder

Leaf Ladder

Janet Little Report

IuliaPoenariu 2 years ago

Is this a ginkgo branch?

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