Some have suggested that NASA's recently revealed "Perpetual Ocean" video resembles Vincent Van Gogh's famous "Starry Starry Night" (pictured below). However, this 21st century computer animated representation of the world's ocean surface currents and the 19th century post-impressionist masterpiece share more than just a passing resemblance. In fact, they both represent vortices.
According to TheFreeDictionary.com, "vortices" (or vortexes) are:
"A spiral motion of fluid within a limited area, especially a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center."
While this is interesting in and of itself, it is even more profound that such patterns (like fractals) are found in living things as well. The second definition of "vortex" reads:
"A whorled or spiral arrangement or pattern, as of muscle fibers, or of the ridges or hairs of the skin."
Where else have you seen a vortex? And what do you think their ubiquity implies?