Monday, March 26, 2007

Interesting Facts About Symmetry

Among the most interesting facts found in the study of symmetry involve nature, the creation artwork, and even the human body. When each of these items has perfect symmetry, they appear more beautiful.

Coffin states on his website, The Symbol of Beauty, that nature has a strong tendency towards symmetry. Many animals and plants are created in perfect symmetry. Butterflies, star fish, leaves and flowers can each be divided into at least two identical parts. He goes on to say that symmetry in nature has influenced art and architecture.

A unifying trend throughout art history is the use of symmetry. In almost every piece of art one can find symmetrical patterns that make them unique. Leonardo DaVinci's famous drawing of a man's physical proportions is a wonderful example of symmetry in artwork.

Mark Thompson wrote an article entitled "Why is Symmetry Important?" This article states symmetry is "essential for a body to function correctly and avoid injury." This symmetry aids in the everyday functions of the body, and when out of alignment poses great problems, such as limited mobility.

Of all the facts presented about symmetry, the most interesting is that of the tendency of humans to be more attracted to people who are perfectly symmetrical. Known as "The Golden Ratio", the face must be of particular proportions to be considered symmetrical. Mathematically speaking, the width of an ideal face would be two-thirds its length, while a nose would be no longer than the distance between the eyes. Patricia Palermo states that even babies are drawn to symmetrical faces over asymmetrical ones. Animals, too, are more attracted to the most symmetrical of their species. This is very interesting, as she considers symmetry to be an answer to "What is beauty?"