Mother Nature’s Spheres

Mother Nature’s Spheres

For simplicity: a sphere.  No angles to count or measure degrees of, no corners to snag a hem on, just center-point, radii, surface, volume.  Subtract one dimension and you have a circle — center, radius, circumference.  Both forms roll.  Polygons will roll erratically then come to rest on one side.  A true sphere could roll on an infinite plane for an eternity.

Fortunately we’ve evolved to live in a finite world filled with lumps and imperfections.  Approximately spherical is usually good enough for us and it’s Mother Nature’s way.  The following are examples of groups of spheres because it was the natural groupings that first caught my eye.

Fields of Rounds is the Pinterest board that I swept the groupings into.  You’ll see that I’ve added human images but that’s for another day.  Spheres and Circularity may interest you too.


marimo algae balls
A rare and beautiful type of algae called marimo grows in some lakes in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. Marimo forms soft green globes that sit in clusters on the lake bottom. via Slate
Moeraki Boulders
The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach in New Zealand. via Moeraki boulders
cave pearls
Cave Pearls in Backwater Aven. Photo: Shaun Puckering. 11th August 2011. via Cave pearls
natural ice balls
Ice balls at Lake Michigan via Natural ice balls


Volvox, a type of freshwater algae. via Volvox


Remember, if you’d like to argue that circles aren’t so simplex all you have to say is pi.


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