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    16 Facts About Nature That'll Make You Say "Sounds Fake, But OK"

    I'm not saying you *won't* want to hug a tree after reading this.

    1. You may have noticed that nature scenes make you feel good! Part of the reason for that is because of (somewhat) hidden mathematical patterns called fractals.

    2. Studies have shown that looking at fractal objects is very pleasing to our frontal lobes — fractal objects tend to fill us with awe and contentment, even if we're just passing by them without staring at them directly.

    3. And! Our own human eyes actually move in fractal patterns!!!

    Scientists using eye-tracking machines discovered that our pupils first do a big scan of a scene, and then scan again in smaller versions of the bigger scans.

    4. Even Jackson Pollock paintings follow fractal patterns, which explains why they can be so spellbinding to gaze at.

    5. Here's a fun one: the reason so fungal infections are so hard to treat is because our body thinks fungi spores

    6. Oh, oh! Plants are really smart. They can remember things that happen to them for almost a month.

    7. They even send signals to warn other plants of incoming danger.

    8. Similarly, that fresh-cut grass smell is actually a distress signal because the grass is going through trauma.

    9. Onto sounds: We, as humans, love the sound of birdsong a lot.

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    Our ears are attuned to pay attention to things that mathematically mirror sounds we create on our own. That's why we like birdsong so much — the same simple mathematical ratios that produce harmonies in human song have been found in the North American thrush and other birds. As a result, the simple chirping and swooning of our feathered friends has been shown to produce happy emotions in humans. It puts us in a state called "body relaxed, mind alert", and in studies, people have rated city neighborhoods more attractive when they can hear birdsong.

    10. In fact, British people love birdsong so much that BBC radio broadcasts 90 seconds of it a day.

    11. OK, back to trees. Trees can talk to each other underground, and they do it a lot.

    12. They also have a thing call crown shyness, where their tops make sure not to touch each other, creating a dazzling visual effect.

    13. Trees also help us humans out — they can indirectly help us fight cancer and other diseases.

    14. Another thing that helps us recover from illness? Just looking at nature or outdoorsy scenes.

    15. And a seemingly mundane task like digging in the dirt actually makes us feel really happy.

    16. This intimate connection between humans and nature is so strong that it has a name: biophilia.

    So the next time you go out into nature, have a long look around and take a deep breath, because all of it works together to make it — and you — work a little more smoothly.

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