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!

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 3 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

Dahlia

amazon2008 Report

DariaB 3 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

Sunflower

Luca Postpischl Report

PiNeAPplES 3 years ago

Does anyone else see a faint star shape?

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#11 Camelia

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 3 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

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

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 3 years ago

Is this a ginkgo branch?

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#21 Hoya Pubicalyx

Hoya Pubicalyx

Botanical Wonderland Report

#22 Alstroemeria Pelegrina

Alstroemeria Pelegrina

Florencia & Juan Report

17_csimpson 3 years ago

Cool I can't believe this. ITS A MIRACLE!!!!!

#23 Hoya Kerrii

Hoya Kerrii

Sandra Report

Rcatheron 3 years ago

Looks like sugar icing flowers on a cake!

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#24 Spiral Begonia

Spiral Begonia

elsewhereincuenca2.blogspot.com Report

MaryAliceLynch 3 years ago

I have neve seen a begonia like this. It is beautiful.

#25 Aeonium Tabuliforme

Aeonium Tabuliforme

David Szalay Report

McAllan Fungai Kusuwo 1 year ago

Nature is so cool, its practically magical.

#26 Fractal Cabbage

Fractal Cabbage

lumiparta Report

#27 Echinacea

Echinacea

Report

#28 Symetric Flowers

Symetric Flowers

Report

DaveFalk 3 years ago

Super

#29 Passiflora Caerulea

Passiflora Caerulea

www.autobienetre.com Report

Richard Smith 2 years ago

Passion flower

#30 Pinecone

Pinecone

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#31 Fearful Symmetry

Fearful Symmetry

500px.com Report

MaryAliceLynch 3 years ago

I love the colors and the symetry. I like this one the best so far.

#32 Agave~tequila Plant

Agave~tequila Plant

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MerryMarjie 3 years ago

Ah, my favorite plant, in terms of productivity!

#33 Silversword

Silversword

500px.com Report

#34 Agave Angustifolia

Agave Angustifolia

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#35 Planta Mosaico - Ludwigia Sedioides

Planta Mosaico - Ludwigia Sedioides

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#36 Gerbera

Gerbera

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#37 Purple Fractal Cabbage

Purple Fractal Cabbage

media.bridgesandballoons.com Report

#38 B&w Dahlia

B&w Dahlia

Report

#39 Unfurling Tree Fern Frond, Madeira

Unfurling Tree Fern Frond, Madeira

Report

#40 Monstera Fruit

Monstera Fruit

Report

#41 Araucaria Arucana

Araucaria Arucana

www.flickr.com Report

chachkimooch 3 years ago

I love this one! Gorgeous!

#42 (another) Sunflover Mandala

(another) Sunflover Mandala

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#43 Colorful Cacti

Colorful Cacti

susanbaileyphoto.com Report

#44 Finonacci Garden

Finonacci Garden

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McAllan Fungai Kusuwo 1 year ago

This is amazing 😍

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#45 Mandala

Mandala

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#46 Mimosa

Mimosa

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#47 Pinecone

Pinecone

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#48 Millipede

Millipede

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AbiezerCelzo224352 3 years ago

plant?

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#49 Detail Of A Fern

Detail Of A Fern

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#50 White Chrysanthemum

White Chrysanthemum

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#51 Santan Flower

Santan Flower

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#52 Suculent

Suculent

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TravinMcKain 2 years ago

This is Dudleya pulverulenta “Chalk Liveforever”

#53 Water Forget-me-not

Water Forget-me-not

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#54 Protier

Protier

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GailKlein 3 years ago

Protea too.

#55 King Protea - Maui

King Protea - Maui

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chachkimooch 3 years ago

WOW! Now that's an impressive flower!

#56 Geometric Leave.

Geometric Leave.

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#57 Magnolia

Magnolia

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#58 Name?

Name?

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LaurentCheryDrouet 3 years ago

This a Dalhia

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#59 Arjareka Gibson- 7th Period

Arjareka Gibson- 7th Period

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#60 Oriental Lily

Oriental Lily

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#61 Spiney Cactus

Spiney Cactus

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#62 White Malaysian Mums

White Malaysian Mums

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#63 Pine Candle

Pine Candle

Report

#64 Phillip Nguyen Pd.3

Phillip Nguyen Pd.3

Report

#65 Fractal Broccoli

Fractal Broccoli

en.wikipedia.org Report

#66 Farjana Kshuhboo

Farjana Kshuhboo

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#67 Farjana Kshuhboo P3

Farjana Kshuhboo P3

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#68 Andrew Bagwell 3rd

Andrew Bagwell 3rd

Report

KiaL 3 years ago

ok

#69 Camelia

Camelia

Report

#70 Barrel Cactus

Barrel Cactus

Report

#71 Apple Core Cross Section

Apple Core Cross Section

Report

#72 A Strange Flower

A Strange Flower

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#73 Moss On The Cobble Stones

Moss On The Cobble Stones

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#74 Fuzzy

Fuzzy

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#75 Cindiee

Cindiee

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KiaL 3 years ago

Nice!

#76 Maria Iniguez

Maria Iniguez

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#77 Thissle

Thissle

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#78 Perception By Malinda Ratliff

Perception By Malinda Ratliff

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#79 Nymphalis Antiopa Butterfly

Nymphalis Antiopa Butterfly

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AbiezerCelzo224352 3 years ago

stop posting unrelated ones

#80 Camelia2

Camelia2

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#81 ???

???

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Larienne 3 years ago

Clematis?

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#82 Water Lily, Shot At Gutty Meusium.

Water Lily, Shot At Gutty Meusium.

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#83 Geometric Flower.

Geometric Flower.

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KathiePhelps 3 years ago

That's a Clematis of some variety

#84 Little Star

Little Star

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#85 Lilac

Lilac

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#86 Black Hollyhock

Black Hollyhock

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#87 Flower

Flower

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#88 Common Dandelion

Common Dandelion

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#89 Centre Flower

Centre Flower

phi.qount-it.com Report

MichelleWilcox 3 years ago

Purple Coneflower

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#90 Rose From Ariana

Rose From Ariana

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#91 Phillip Nguyen Pd3 Got Emm

Phillip Nguyen Pd3 Got Emm

Report

3 years ago

I got it t-dawg! Bang bang

#92 Young Lily Before Blooming

Young Lily Before Blooming