FRACTAL NA­TURE

Cosmos - - Contents - GALLERY WORDS BY MICHAEL LUCY / CURATION BY SAHM KEILY

The shapes that en­thralled and in­spired math­e­ma­ti­cian Benoit Man­del­brot.

A FRACTAL IS A SHAPE “made of parts sim­i­lar to the whole in some way”, ac­cord­ing to the math­e­ma­ti­cian Benoit Man­del­brot, who coined the term. In a per­fect math­e­mat­i­cal fractal each pat­tern is made up of smaller copies of it­self, and those smaller copies are made up of smaller copies again, for­ever.

Many ob­jects in na­ture are ap­prox­i­mately fractal. Here are im­ages of some of the most strik­ing.

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