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.