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Fractals in the Human Body
Transcript of Fractals in the Human Body
By Joseph Canterbury
Fractals Inside of Us
Blood vessels are one of the most impressive examples of fractal branching in our bodies. Every cell in the body must be close to a blood vessel in order to receive oxygen and nutrients. The only way this is possible is through a fractal branching network where blood vessels branch and branch down, smaller, and smaller.
Depending on how they're measured, humans have about 150,000 kilometers of blood vessels - enough to go around the world several times!
The fractal properties found in the human body, help our bodies to work more efficiently. By using an a repeating pattern(which gets smaller each time) the organ systems in our bodies are able to maximize space. With the golden ration we can see how the human body was formed in the same proportions as many plants, animals and other natural phenomenons. Almost as if God planned it all out.
Here we see a picture of the human lungs. You can see a repeating, branch-like pattern.
The reason is quite simple, the human body has developed a Structure-Function relationship. Take the lungs, for example. Although the volume of a pair of human lungs is only ~4 - 6 liters, the surface area of the same pair of lungs is between 50 and 100 square meters. This is because the human lungs have a highly sophisticated layout, using fractal based properties to maximize space.
Fractal Blood network
The layout of the human lungs, as I said before, resembles that of a tree. It is a simple branching out pattern that repeats over and over. Because fractals found in nature cant be infinite the pattern goes on for about 12 sets. This occurs so oxygen can be taken in as efficiently as possible. Without this pattern the human lungs would have to be many times there current size. Because of this pattern, the Oxygen is able to diffuse into the lungs by osmosis so smoothly due to the many alveoli. Without the fractal pattern we would all breathe like a 20 year cigarette smoker.
Why are fractals in the human body interesting?
Fractals are why the human body functions in such an efficient way. The Human body has evolved over time, and has improved to be as efficient as possible, which is why many organ systems are made with fractal properties. The human lungs could never function the way they do without fractals. The heart could not pump blood throughout the body in such an efficient way without a fractal pattern. The human body is also made proportional to Phi, or the golden ratio.
If You look at these pictures you see two things a tree and the layout of the human lungs. As you can tell they look very similar. The two developed completely interdependently of each other yet they have nearly the same pattern. This is because the fractal pattern is so effective. Both the tree and the lung have the same function, respiration. The fractal pattern gives them more surface area to take in gas.
The Golden Ratio in the Human Body
The human body is heavily based on Phi, or the golden ratio.Two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. If you take the human body and divide it up as in this picture, you can see how it models the golden ratio. Furthermore, the human body is based on patterns of 5, just like Phi. 5 ^ .5 * .5 + .5 = Phi. If you take the torso, you have 5 appendages arms, legs, neck. Take these, 5 fingers, 5 toes, 5 openings in the face.
The Same proportion