While staring at an interesting painting or piece of architecture is often very satisfying, there is something even more amazing about beautiful natural patterns. These are the interesting shapes and lines we observe from high above the ground in an airplane or a piece of coral which, up close, seems even more mystifying. From salt flats to clouds, let’s take a look at the 10 most beautiful natural patterns that continue to inspire us.

1. Mountains

Seeing mountains from above is quite humbling. There are height differences, the snow-capped peaks versus the valleys, and the numerous rivers and other bodies of water that form near mountains. It almost takes away a mountain’s beauty to flatten out a satellite picture of a range to observe the natural pattern, but it’s quite interesting.

2. Salt Flats

While not observable in all areas of the country, salt flats are used for commercial salt production. All of the colors that can be seen when looking at one of these flats from above are hypnotizing.

3. Ferns

Ferns are a special type of plant in which their natural pattern can be repeated consistently using a mathematical formula. The idea behind Barnsley’s Fern formula is that random numbers that are produced repeatedly by this formula will ultimately produce a fern-shaped object. Whatever the formula ferns produce some of the most beautiful natural patterns out there.

4. Clouds

We’ve all played the game as kids (or as bored adults) of finding shapes in the clouds above. While a lot of the time clouds seem to be formed in no particular natural pattern, certain types of clouds, such as marine stratus clouds, often blanket the sky in a pattern. It’s rare for these types of patterns to remain in place for long, though.

5. Leaves

While not all leaves are unique, a plant does follow the same general natural pattern when forming its leaves. Regardless, it’s interesting to see all of the different lines that form on a single leaf.

6. Lightning

There’s nothing quite as jarring as seeing a lightning bolt strike the ground far off in the distance. A lightning bolt’s natural pattern is not pre-determined because it happens as it moves toward the ground, actually turning the air into plasma. If you look closely, it’s possible to see this occur on some slower moving bolts.

7. Waterfall

Have you ever seen photos of waterfalls where the photographer has slowed his shutter speed so the water appears almost lacey? Waterfalls produce wondrous natural patterns due to the different ways the water travels across rocks and other growth it comes across. This is not only a treat for the eye, but for our ears, too.

8. Snowflakes

You may have heard there is no such thing as identical snowflakes. You may want to spend the time searching, though, because these natural wonders produce some beautiful patterns.

9. Peacock Feathers

Feathers of all types produce interesting natural patterns when observed closely enough. The peacock’s feathers, however, are in a whole other league. It shouldn’t come as a surprise they are so lovely, though, because this type of bird uses its feathers to attract potential mates.

10. Canyons

When observing a false-color image of a large canyon such as the Grand Canyon, not only are varying dark reds and yellows observed, but rivers, such as the Grand Canyon’s Colorado river, are seen running right down the middle of the formation, splintering off in all different directions. It’s almost hard to believe something so majestic and large is so beautiful when flattened out.


What is your favorite natural pattern?




Kirstin Wright
Kirstin Wright
Kirstin is an IT worker by day and a freelance writer by night. When not behind a computer screen, she can be found exploring one of central Florida's famous theme parks or embarking on a new adventure. You can read about her adventures at Fun Orlando Ideas!