Shapes in Nature

Fractal patterns use self-repeating algorithms and are found in natural structures.

How it works

Explore the beauty of fractals on a touch screen and observe how shapes re-appear and repeat, just as they do in the structures of snowflakes and plants.

Background

Lightning, rivers, snowflakes and plants all have a fractal element to their structure. Fractals are 'self similar'. This means that if you zoom in on a spot, the same shapes keep reappearing. Fractals are drawn using the unusual equation Zn+1 = zn2 + c. By choosing different numbers, you find out whether they are included in the shape. If the total gets larger and larger, that number doesn't get included in the fractal. If the total doesn't keep getting larger, the number gets included in the fractal. Only Mandelbrot fractals are drawn using this equation (#not all fractals).