If you've ever felt truly calmed and relaxed by nature, it's partially because of a magical thing called fractals.
Fractals are (somewhat) hidden mathematical patterns and angles that show up again and again in different sizes. They show up throughout nature — in clouds, coastlines, snowflakes, human lungs, shells, rivers, and galaxies. Studies have shown that looking at fractal objects is very pleasing to our frontal lobes; they tend to fill us with awe and contentment even if we're just passing by them without staring at them directly.
With that in mind, here are a bunch of pictures of natural fractals that, thanks to science, will chill you out:
1. This fern, which is made up of lots of smaller leaves that mimic the fern's overall shape.
2. This Romanesco broccoli, which contains tons of mesmerizing swirling stems.
3. This view of British Columbia's Coast mountains from way, way up.
4. This soothing spiral seashell.
5. And this never-ending nautilus.
6. This Queen Anne's lace that looks like it'll never stop self-multiplying.
7. This branching river in a Myanmarese archipelago.
8. This dreamy-looking braided river.
9. This dazzling network of veins.
10. These tree branches that split off into smaller versions of themselves.
11. This gorgeous grid of salt flats.
12. This aloe plant's swirling leaves, all covered in dew drops.
13. This dipsacus plant and its dizzying array of leaves.
14. This cabbage, which is almost too cool to eat.
15. This very special snowflake.
16. These wonderful ocean waves.
17. And this amazing agate slice.