Mathematical forms abound in nature as a result of the mathematics behind the physical laws that govern the formation of both organic and inorganic natural structures. A mixture of plant forms and geological formations are shown here.
Many of these images were taken in slot canyons. A slot canyon is a very narrow stretch of canyon, typically one to several feet wide. Those shown here are formed in sandstone and are dry most of the time. Most of the erosion that forms these structures occurs during flash floods. These are violent events, in which water gathered over a large area is forced into a narrow passage. The water carries sand and rocks, which contribute to the erosion. The curvilinear forms of sandstone slot canyons bring to mind mathematical surfaces. In a sense, these are natural mathematical sculptures. As one moves through these spaces, the forms and light are constantly evolving. The photographs here were all taken in the Colorado Plateau (in northern Arizona or southern Utah). While photographs of these structures are a form of mathematical art in themselves, interesting abstractions can be created by mirroring and/or rotating and overlapping the images.
Click on the thumbnail images to see larger versions with descriptions.