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Mirror balance and algorithmic precision may sound like human fabrications, but taking a closer look at the circular swirl of a sunflower or the intricate Fibonacci sequence of a pinecone shows that nature is the original master of symmetry. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, the designs we create often emulate the precise patterns we perceive in the natural world.

Many species of plants and animals share this distinct aesthetic feature (sea sponges are an exception; they do their own thing), and symmetry even extends into the cosmos: Astronomers have observed that the Milky Way galaxy is a perfect mirror image of itself, and it also exhibits a logarithmic spiral similar to a nautilus shell.

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Eighteen

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