What are fractals?
Fractals are objects in which the same patterns occur again and again at different scales and sizes.
In a perfect mathematical fractal – such as the famous Mandelbrot set, shown above – this “self-similarity” goes infinitely deep: each pattern is made up of smaller copies of itself, and those smaller copies are made up of smaller copies again, forever.
Where can we see fractals in nature?
Many natural phenomena are fractal to some degree. Below are images of some of the most striking fractals in nature.
Related Reading: The mystique of mathematics
Originally published by Cosmos as Do fractals exist in nature?
Michael Lucy is a former features editor of Cosmos.
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