A Sea of Vortices - What NASA's "Perpetual Ocean", Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night, and Your Fingertips Share in Common

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?

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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. Very cool. Something that's also interesting is that our planet's atmosphere also acts like a fluid!