The Mandelbrot is worth just zooming around to find fun places that can make nice images. To help you out I thought I’d take you through a few of the popular areas that are often cropping up in images.
Firstly lets start with the most obvious features. The very large black area is known as the main cardioid. The word cardioid comes from the Greek for “heart” which makes a certain amount of sense when you look at it.
To the left of the main cardioid you have a perfect circle known as “the main bulb”. There are many of these circles around the main cardioid, and then again around the main bulb, and then again and again as you zoom into the edges of each of the circles.
The next obvious feature that people talk about is “the valley of the seahorses”. This sits between the main cardioid and the main bulb, where the two coloured areas of the manelbrot start fo move towards each other. The name comes from the resemblance of the swirly areas to a seahorse.
These valleys occur whenever a bulb grows out of the edges of the cardoid or a sub-bulb, and they each have that characterstic swirlyness.
Moving back to a sidebulb, you’ll notice that there are “antennae” that move away from each bulb. These antenna have interesting properties. For example, if you look at the sub-bulb at the top of the main cardoid you’ll notice that it has 3 antennae (including the one pointing back at the bulb). We’ll come back to these another time, but you’ll notice that different sidebulbs have different numbers of antennae.
Another named area of the mandelbulb is Elephant Valley. This is on the right handside of the mandelbulb, where the main cardoid turns in towards the origin. The name comes from the resemblance of the antennae to the trunks of elephants.
One area that has a unique feel on the mandelbulb is to the left of the main bulb as you track along the antennae going horizontally left towards the -2 boundary. At this point the antennae are very long and closely resemble lightning.
The mandelbulb itself occurs within the edges of the mandelbulb wherever you look in the fractal. Sometimes it’s slightly warped or squished, but it’s always recognisable. Here’s an example from zooming in deeper into the fractal.
The Julia fractals are a set of fractals closely related to the mandelbrot, which I may come back to some other time. What’s somewhat surprising is that there are areas within the main mandelbrot which look just like julia fractals. Here’s an example found from zooming around the map.
If you’d like to explore the mandelbrot in more detail, feel free to use the mandelbrot viewer available on this site. Happy exploring!