Fractals can be difficult to define. From the natural harmonious shapes of trees, plants and flowers that seem to radiate elegance and perfection in their simplicity to some of those intricate and colorful geometric shapes that can often be found on New Age social media pages, fractals are some of the most enigmatic, strikingly simple and simply stunning geometric shapes in the universe. Following are a few of the facts about them that stand out the most.
Table of contents:
- slow recognition
- the beauty of fractals
- intelligent design
- apparent simplicity
- fractals and video games
- energy healing and sacred geometry
- audio fractals
1 Slow Recognition
The term "fractal" has been around only in the past 30 years or so, but even before the famous mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot coined it, there were many other instances where the fascinating irregular shapes were used but never recognized. Lewis Fry came up with a similar concept when studying the English coastline and realized the infinite measurements required to accurately define its irregularity.
2 The Beauty of Fractals
One of the most fascinating facts about fractal shapes is their captivating beauty. Able to depict stunning graphical imagery to its smallest possible detail, with recurring shapes, vibrant color combinations and an intricate, yet natural complexity, fractals represent the artistic and elegant side of mathematics, their depictions being commonly used in advanced 3D artwork and graphics.
3 Intelligent Design
Adepts of creationist and intelligent design theories often claim that nothing as beautiful or intricate as a butterfly's wing or a simple flower could have arisen without some form of “divine intervention.” However, the plotting of a simple combination of 2D array functions called Barnsley's Fern accurately depicts a leaf, and there are plenty of more complex fractals that faithfully mimic even some of the most intricate shapes in nature.
4 Apparent Simplicity
Despite their seeming complexity, one of the most remarkable facts about fractals is that they can be created from the simplest shapes. All versions of one of the most popular fractals, named Pythagoras' Tree, start from a simple line or square and reiterate to create a beautiful tree made from the same simple shapes scaled down according to a specific ratio.
5 Fractals and Video Games
An interesting fact about fractals is that they have become practically indispensable in video game graphics. Their beauty, simplicity and flexibility allows developers to use them for recreating the most complex sceneries with very little difficulty and a high level of detail – offering remarkable image quality and unprecedented rendering speeds.
6 Energy Healing and Sacred Geometry
Sacred geometry involves the use of geometric patterns and ratios that are seen by some to be the building blocks of life and that have gained significant popularity among New Age thinkers. Applied to certain fractals, such as spirals, trees and intricate triangle shapes, these ratios are believed to harmonize one's energy body and assist with some energy healing practices. One of the most popular sacred geometry ratios is the golden ratio (1.61803399), found in many places in the universe and throughout nature, including galaxies, sea shells and plants.
7 Audio Fractals
Some musicians have even begun exploring the audible potential of fractals, attempting to leave the conventional fields of music and expressing wave forms through changes of air density over time. Melodious tunes, catchy beats and strange, psychedelic sounds can all be expressed and generated through obscure fractal vibes that have only just started being explored.
These are only some of the amazing facts about fractals that continue to mesmerize us to this day. What do you think about this list? Do you know about any other intriguing facts I've missed regarding fractals and their beauty or paradoxical simplicity?
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