# 10 Real-Life Examples of Hexagon

We live in a world where shapes meet substance, and geometry forms an inseparable part of things around us. The real-life examples prove so. Give a glance at your surroundings, and you will find that every entity is adorned with one or the other geometrical shape, such as squares, trapezoids, and other quadrilaterals.

While several geometrical figures shape the world we live in, hexagons hold a special place. But why focus on hexagons? You may wonder. It’s because there are many remarkable ways in which hexagons manifest around us. Study closely, and you’ll find how this six-sided figure beautifies nature and human creations. So, without any delay, let’s explore some of the most intriguing hexagonal wonders in real life.

## Hexagons: Types and properties

Before diving into the examples, let’s first learn about the shape we’re talking about. So basically, a hexagon is a two-dimensional polygon with six sides, six angles, and six vertices. A hexagon is always a closed figure with no open end. It has multiple types, such as regular, irregular, convex, concave, and complex.

To remain within the scope of this write-up, we’re going to talk about the “regular hexagon,” a type that can be easily identified and is commonly found around us. Some of the unique properties of a regular hexagon are:

• It is a plane figure
• It is a closed shape
• It has six straight and equal sides
• All opposite sides are parallel to one another
• Each interior angle measures 120 degrees
• The total of all interior angles is 720 degrees
• It has six lines of symmetry and six rotational symmetries

## What makes hexagons so special?

The hexagon shape is special because, surprisingly, it is one of nature’s most preferred shapes. As you go through the examples we share today, you will realize that hexagons hold a special place in nature, and that’s probably why they appear so frequently in many ways in our surroundings.

Well, it’s not just because a hexagon looks nice and symmetrical, so nature seems to prefer it. In fact, it’s more about its geometrical characteristics. It is a perfect shape to fill a plane, leaving no unused spaces in between. This means no space goes to waste when hexagonal items are packed up together. Furthermore, the hexagon has a large internal surface area and is mechanically stable because stress gets evenly distributed across its structure. The six corners contribute to the structure’s rigidity and help achieve equilibrium.

## Hexagonal wonders: Interesting real-life examples of hexagons

### I. Naturally-Occurring Hexagons

#### 1. Honeycomb

The classic example of hexagons in nature is a honeycomb. There’s a reason why bees favor this structure to build their honeycombs. You may think bees are not intelligent creatures. But think again! Their impeccable work in building honeycombs proves otherwise. Bees prefer the hexagonal structure because these structures have the least separating wall, meaning bees have to put in less labor, and less beeswax is needed. Considering the number of honeycombs bees make to store honey and raise their young ones, a hexagonal structure is an appropriate choice.

#### 2. Basalt columns

If you ever get a chance,  don’t skip visiting the Devil’s Postpile National Monument in California. The most striking thing you will observe is that there are numerous basalt columns in the shape of hexagons. How these hexagonal-shaped columns came into existence is worth a read. When lava flows out, it eventually starts to cool and shrink. The shrinking increases the surface tension, which is released by the formation of cracks at an angle of 120 degrees, which supposedly releases the most tension. Hence, the formation of basalt columns.

#### 3. Snowflakes

A snowflake is yet another example of the hexagonal shape existing in nature. Although snowflakes acquire many forms, the crystalline structure of a snowflake resembling a hexagon with six sides and six-fold symmetry is the most common. This amazing natural wonder forms when water freezes mid-air before falling to the ground. As it falls toward the ground, the basic hexagonal structure is exposed to moisture and temperature conditions, expanding the symmetrical structure into larger hexagonal crystals.

#### 4. Saturn’s hexagon

One of the most intriguing hexagons of this universe can be found at Saturn’s north pole. The hexagon is a cloud pattern with sides about 9,000 miles long. It is formed when smaller storms and the larger system interact, resulting in the pinching of the eastern jet stream and confining it near the north pole. This entire process gives rise to a hexagonal appearance.

#### 5. Dragonfly’s eyes

Have you ever noticed a dragonfly’s eyes? These flying insects have two compound eyes comprising nearly 30,000 regular hexagons. The only rule they follow is that at any vertex, only three hexagonal structures meet each other. While you may not see this hexagonal wonder with the naked eye, it is clearly visible in a macro image of a dragonfly’s eyes.

#### 1. Floor tiles

Floor tiles come in different shapes and designs, and hexagonal tiles are one among them. Tiles with a hexagonal shape look sharp and trendy. These are popularly used as flooring, in the bathroom, or even as kitchen backsplash. Hexagonal tiles may look delicate, but they are, in fact, very durable, perfect for renovating or designing a section of your home.

#### 2. Nuts

Ask your dad to show you his toolbox. You will find a couple of nuts and bolts lying around. Nuts are used for fastening screws and bolts. Hex nuts or hexagonal nuts are predominantly used because they are easy to hold, use, and turn. Because it has six sides, one can turn it one-sixth of the way in a single twist. The shape also allows for easy grip with fingers and a wrench.

#### 3. Pencil base

A pencil also has a hexagonal shape. Take a look at an unsharpened pencil, and you will clearly see the six-sided shape we’re discussing. Pencils are constructed in this geometrical shape because of a few reasons. First, it’s easier to pack a stack of hexagonal pencils together in a box, and second, it allows for a better grip on a pencil while writing.

#### 4. Soccer ball pattern

A soccer ball has not just one but two geometrical shapes in it – pentagons and hexagons. There are twelve black pentagons and twenty white hexagons in one soccer ball! These two shapes together give a soccer ball its unique appearance. Wondering why only these shapes? The reason is that these two shapes fit together like a puzzle and provide a flawless spherical shape to the ball.

#### 5. Architectural designs

Traditionally, hexagons symbolize harmony and balance. Architects often use hexagons to design beautiful and intricate structures. Some of our favorite hexagonal architectural designs include the New York Supreme Court building, the Berlin-Tegel Airport, and the Museum of Jewish History in Manhattan.

## Wrapping up,

As this post comes to an end, we hope your curious minds are buzzing with newfound knowledge. Hexagons do not just hold a place in objects; they are now used in concepts like hexagonal thinking with a wide range of applications, including math class.

The real-life examples of hexagons clearly show how nature and geometry beautifully intertwine in the most unexpected ways. So, don’t just limit yourself to textbook learning. Take some time to observe the world and its details. You will soon discover several other ways in which hexagons show their presence in the world we inhabit. Keep your eyes open and your willingness to learn alive. There’s so much to absorb and explore. One hexagon at a time!