Bilateral Symmetry in Art and Nature

One of the most popular kinds of symmetry and order you see in many pieces of art is bilateral symmetry. Bilateral symmetry is when an object looks the same if you insert a mirror in between the two of its parts. In other words, an object that has the property of bilateral symmetry has two sides that are copies of each other.

Obviously, this is one of the main characteristics of the look of the human body, even though the human body in real life is not perfectly symmetrical.

The reason why this type of symmetry is so popular in the pieces of art is that it can be found almost everywhere in the world around us. Almost all fish, mammals, insects and birds share the attribute of their bodies being bilaterally symmetrical. One possible explanation for this is that bilateral symmetry makes it easier for objects to move in one direction.

Scientists also believe that is it possible that symmetry has something to do with the development of the central nervous system in various species. Researchers suggest that even starfish have evolved from ancestors that were bilaterally symmetrical.

All kinds and types of processes, including the ones that don’t involve leaving creatures, can self-organize. Today scientists can explain many of the patterns that occur in nature without having to use the concept of the divine plan. It seems that the laws of nature make everything from molecules to rocks to fluids able to order itself to some extent. Patterns often appear in those places where humans can’t find any reason for them to be there.

If you want to understand patterns, you need to study symmetry. Symmetry is everywhere, from the bodies of fish to designs of wallpaper to expensive ancient Persian rugs. You may be inclined to think that patterns generate symmetry, but in reality, the opposite is true.