A fractal is a pattern in nature that keeps on repeating itself over-and-over-again over a period of time.
Due to the repeating nature of fractals, they look similar at both the macro (large) scale perspective, and the micro (small) scale perspective.
The “”official”” term ‘fractal’ was coined by a mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, in 1975. The term “Fractal” refers to a set of numbers that look the same regardless of their size, whether big or small. Fractals are patterns that keep on repeating forever.
Fractals in nature are very common and include trees, rivers, lightning strikes, coast lines, and human biology.
The seemingly never ending nature of a fractal pattern is difficult for the human brain to conceptualize and visually fractals can be captivating to stare at.
But how can understanding and recognizing fractal patterns actually help you in life? Well, human psychology and behavior patterns are also fractals.
In my own personal life, understanding fractals has been a “”game changer”” in helping me to gain a deeper understanding (and higher perspective) for my own behavior and the behavior of the world around me.
And I’m not the only one..
Have you heard the term, “as above, so below” ? Where do you think you get your behavior from. Your parents, grandparents, or older influences as a child.
This saying is a reference to a fractal pattern, because fractals look similar up close as they do from far away.
Fractals are a key part of nature. They are all around us. Yet most people are completely unaware of the existence and importance that fractal patterns play in our everyday life.
Let’s Dive In !
Why Are Fractal Patterns Important?
Understanding fractals is an important part of understanding the world around you. Indeed it’s possible that you, me, and everyone on Earth might be living in a fractal.
Fractal Universe –
Ever notice how the universe, our cities at night from above, and our brain cells all look very similar, at 3 very different size scales?
Some scientists now believe that the universe we live in may be one big repeating fractal. But this isn’t a new idea.
Dating back over 3,000 years ago, the ancient geometric symbol known as the “Flower of Life” was inscribed by the Ancient Indus Valley Civilization in the sacred “Vedas Texts“. The flower of life forms a fractal pattern said to symbolize the origin and creation of the universe.
Fractal Behavior –
The ability to recognize a repeating fractal pattern can help you identify past trends, and can also help you recognize future trends based on the repeating nature of recognizing past trends.
Also by understanding the fractal nature of behavior patterns, you can identify behavior patterns in yourself and others, and then trace the root of those behaviors back to the source. Just like following the tributaries of a fractal river pattern all the way upstream back to the source.
9 Places To Find and Recognize Fractal Patterns
The idea behind fractals is that they are a natural part of the mathematical code for how things grow and evolve in the universe. Fractals are wired into the mathematical code of the universe, just like gravity is.
We don’t think about gravity on a daily basis, but it surrounds us at all times. Fractals are the same. Yet most people have never heard of a fractal. Never the less, fractals surround all of us, all the time.
Here’s a Few Examples of Common Places to Look to Find Fractal Patterns.
- Fractals in Nature
- Fractals in Computer Software
- Fractal Shapes
- Fractals in Math
- Fractals in Technology
- Fractals and Human Psychology
- Fractals in Time
- Fractals in Sound
- Fractals in Art
Keep in mind that just like human beings, fractals take many different shapes, sizes, patterns, and are not always the same, although all fractals do share similar properties.
9 Beautiful Examples of Fractal Patterns in Nature
Scientists now believe that the reason why the universe is filled with fractal patterns is simple. Physics, math, and biology all come together to create the simplest, easiest, and most efficient growth pattern.
The fractal is the easiest way for something to grown from small to big. Create a simple pattern and keep repeating it again and again over time.
That’s it. Fractals for in nature because it’s the most efficient growth strategy in the path of least resistance.
1. Fractal Trees
Trees form classic fractals with repeating patterns created by the large main branches, repeating themselves in smaller branches, and smaller branches repeating themselves in even small yet twigs, and so on, and so on.
Fractals on trees can be observed over time as the tree grows and as the branches “branch-off” from one another repeating over and over again until the tree eventually reaches the end of it’s life cycle.
Over time, the branches transform into twigs, which further transform into somewhat bigger branches, and the whole cycle continues for the full life of the tree.
2. Human Fractals
All an animals are made up from fractal parts.
For example, the respiratory system, circulatory systems, nervous system, and brain neuron network are all fractal systems inside the human body.
When you inspect the human respiratory system, you will notice that the fractals start from a singular trunk and branch out from there, just like a tree. Again, the reason for the structure of this system is simple, fractal patterns are the simplest and most efficient growth path of least resistance.
3. Fractal Snowflakes
I’ve been making fractal snowflakes since Kindergarten, when I cut my first snowflake out of a folded up piece of paper….Seriously though…
Fractal patterns play a vital role in snowflakes. The fractal pattern provides structural stability, uniqueness, and beauty that can be found in every individual flake of snow.
When it comes to snowflake formations, the fractal patterns start from the center, and their dimensions expand outwards in all directions.
As the process continues over time, each shape iteration keeps getting more compact, and more detailed, contributing to the complexity of the shape.
4. Lightning and Electrical Fractals
Much like rivers, lighting fractals are also formed by the path of least resistance.
With electrical fractals the electricity splinters through various levels of conductivity in the air.
I also noticed that if you were to invert the image of lightning striking, you’ll see it resembles the fractal pattern of a tree branch or the human circulatory system.
5. Fractal Plants and Leaves
Food for thought: All fruits and vegetables are made up of fractals.
Like animals and humans, plants are living things, and their internal structures also have fractal patterns.
With the help of fractal pattern structures, plants transfer nutrients throughout their cells.
Some plants also feature a fractal pattern on their outsides, presenting a stunning look.
A vivid example of such plants would be Romanesco broccoli (see below).
6. Fractal Geography and Terrain (mountain ranges)
As an example of the different size of fractals, take a look at some fractal geometry.
One vivid example of this is the elevation survey of a mountain range below. The hills and rivers look eerily similar to leaves or tree branches.
7. Fractal Clouds
Clouds also show attributes of fractal patterns.
The Turbulence noticed within the atmosphere affects the water in a rather drastic way, making the water particles collide.
Turbulence is the fractal pattern seen in clouds and has twice the effect on forming and the clouds’ appearance.
There are other factors such as condensations, ice crystals, precipitation lost by the clouds that will impact the cloud’s condition.
8. Fractal Mineral and Crystal Formations
Crystals are formed from minerals that also exhibit fractal attributes.
The fractal pattern of crystals resembles other naturally existing phenomena such as ice formations.
The fractal patterns of various crystals depend on their formation. Some minerals used to make crystals reflect more fractal patterns in appearance than the other crystals do.
9. Fractal River Systems
To help you understand the prevalence of fractal patterns in rivers, we will use the Yukon River Delta as an example.
The Yukon River gets separated into a plethora of distributive channels as it further merges into the Bering Sea right off the coast of Alaska.
Benefits of Fractal Pattern Recognition
After you start understanding, recognizing and noticing fractals, you’ll suddenly start seeing fractal patterns all over the place. Like when you’re shopping for a red car and then suddenly every car on the road seems to be red.
So what are the benefits of fractal recognition?
Ken Westrick is CEO of TerraMai, a US company that specializes in interior design utilizing the techniques of “”Feng Shui“”. Ken boosts relaxation and productivity by bringing fractal elements of nature inside homes, offices and business across the country.
But ken didn’t just jump into business on a hunch. There’s a method to his madness as Ken deeply understands the science…
Other research has found that looking at fractal patterns can reduce stress by as much as 60 percent.
Yet another study conducted by Psychology professor Dr. Branka Spehar, also found that surgical patients, with rooms featuring views of nature, spent less time in the hospital than patients whose rooms faced a brick wall.
According to Dr. Richard Taylor, who isa professor of physics, psychology and art at the University of Oregon, and one of the leading experts in the world on fractal patterns, and has been featured on multiple TV documentary series….
Your visual system is in some way hardwired to understand fractals,” says Dr. Taylor “The stress-reduction is triggered by a physiological resonance that occurs when the fractal structure of the eye matches that of the fractal image being viewed.”
Also, once a repeating pattern is recognized, it become easier to see that same pattern in the future which can help you to predict future outcomes.
Fractals Behavior Recognition Can Help You Predict Your Future
Once you become familiar with fractals you can notice fractals in different behavioral scenarios.
For example, I have trouble expressing and processing emotions. Fear, love, anger. I feel all of them, but I didn’t use to react to those emotions in a healthy or positive way. I would either bottle it up, or withdraw into my head, or quickly change the subject.
Then I realized that my parents do the same thing, and so does my grandparents. This inability to process certain emotions is a behavioral fractal in my life that has been unconsciously passed down from one generation to the next.
The people you date, decisions you make, situations where you find yourself stuck. Your behavior patterns which affect your mood, mindset, and overall vibe may be the result of a behavioral fractal pattern that you’re unaware of.
To understand how fractals are embedded in your life, try to notice the pattern of how you consume information, how you deal with relationships, and how you cope with unfortunate events, and how you process and control your emotions.
These all are patterns that can be difficult to be self-aware of. It’s much easier to see patterns in other people than yourself. This is because often our ego, prevents us from looking at ourselves objectively.
Fractals are embedded in our lives. We often follow the same pattern until we have inevitably reached a place where we are forced to change.
The fractals in our life highlight the operating system of humans. We also follow the path of least resistance, even if it’s not in our best interest.
Fractal patterns are seemingly complex, but ultimately simple in their construction. They follow the laws of science always moving in the path of least resistance. Recognizing fractal patterns is the beginning to understanding more about the universe and more about yourself and your own internal universe.
By understanding fractals in behavior patterns, you’re almost guaranteed to have some critical ‘life epiphanies’ that you’ll wish you understood years ago (I know I did).
But “generally speaking” gaining the ability to recognize fractals in nature and fractals in life will put you ahead of 99% of other humans when it comes to understanding how life works in the universe.
Once you get good at identifying fractals (it takes some practice) you’ll start to recognize fractal patterns all over the place. In your life, in other peoples lives, in advertising, in nature, and in future technology.
If you’ve had any amazing fractal experiences we’d love to hear about it. Also if you feel we missed any important fractal information in the article, please let us know as we’re always looking feedback (good or bad)
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