why do cauliflowers look like brains or some chili looks like male organs?


Is it just the easiest way around for nature to form some structures or what? Many thanks in advance

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

This has more to do with humans’ ability to see patterns than any particular ease of forming those structures, in the same way that we see things in some clouds.

There’s not much similarity in the internal structure of a cauliflower and a brain, or those chili and what you see in them.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First, because our brains can notice patterns very easily because it helped our evolution, so it’s only natural to make connections based on the shape of these things, even when there isn’t one.

Second, cauliflowers will have as many seeds as they can fit in that space, so natural selection will encourage them to fit as many as possible, thus developing a fractal-like pattern. Our brain’s outer layer, where the grey matter is – and where the real magic happens within the brain – , acts very similar, the less smooth it is, the more grey matter there is, thus more ‘processing power’ (in the ‘middle’ of the brain there’s the white matter which forms the connections within and between the gray matter, the brain stem and the spinal cord). So naturally to these two problems, selection will find a similar solution because of simple geometry.

Of course there are examples where there’s no connection, but when you’re growing from one point with cell multiplication and want to include fluid transferring with veins or other tube-like structures, as in all organs of animals and plants, of course you won’t try to make a dodecahedron or cube but a round, mostly bilaterally simmetrical structure with thinner and thinner tubes within it. The overall shape is determined by the shape of nearby organs, surface area in case of photosynthesis (flat leaves with one layer of veins), thermic and/or water evaporation regualtion (like the leaves of pine trees or cactii in plants or the huge ears of elephants or desert mice within the animal kingdom), etc.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Neither of those things were for the most part formed by nature. Cauliflower, [Here’s a cool image that shows what cauliflower looked like before humans cultivated it.](https://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/8/6/5974989/kale-cauliflower-cabbage-broccoli-same-plant) It’s a type of cabbage and used to be just leaves. So the way it looks now was chosen by people based on how the plant developed through cultivation over several thousand years. That said, I don’t know if they were aiming for it to look the way it looks now, or if they were just trying to get that part of the plant to be bigger and bigger and bigger, and that happened to be what it ended up looking like.

As for chilis, before cultivation they were small red things that looked like berries. The wild plant is the ancestor of both chili peppers and bell peppers and other types of peppers. Some of them are round and sort of tomato-ey looking, some of them are bell-pepper-shaped, and some are the elongated chili shape. I don’t know if, once the long, pointy-shaped chilis became known for being hot, there was a preference to cultivate more chilis to look the same way, since that’s the look that people were familiar with and identified with hot chilis. Or whether there is something about that pointy shape that leads to more heat in the final fruit.