# Fylfy Fractals

An equilateral triangle is a rep-tile, because it can be tiled completely with smaller copies of itself. Here it is as a rep-4 rep-tile, tiled with four smaller copies of itself:

Equilateral triangle as rep-4 rep-tile

If you divide and discard one of the sub-copies, then carry on dividing-and-discarding with the sub-copies and sub-sub-copies and sub-sub-sub-copies, you get the fractal seen below. Alas, it’s not a very attractive or interesting fractal:

Divide-and-discard fractal stage #1

Stage #2

Stage #3

Stage #4

Stage #5

Stage #6

Stage #7

Stage #8

Stage #9

You can create more attractive and interesting fractals by rotating the sub-triangles clockwise or anticlockwise. Here are some examples:

Now try dividing a square into four right triangles, then turning each of the four triangles into a divide-and-discard fractal. The resulting four-fractal shape is variously called a swastika, a gammadion, a cross cramponnée, a Hakenkreuz and a fylfot. I’m calling it a fylfy fractal:

Divide-and-discard fractals in the four triangles of a divided square stage #1

Fylfy fractal #2

Fylfy fractal #3

Fylfy fractal #4

Fylfy fractal #5

Fylfy fractal #6

Fylfy fractal #7

Fylfy fractal #8

Fylfy fractal (animated)

Finally, you can adjust the fylfy fractals so that each point in the square becomes the equivalent point in a circle:

# Trifylfots

Here’s a simple fractal created by dividing an equilateral triangle into smaller equilateral triangles, then discarding (and rotating) some of those sub-triangles, then doing the same to the sub-triangles:

Fractangle (triangle-fractal) (stage 1)

Fractangle #2

Fractangle #3

Fractangle #4

Fractangle #5

Fractangle #6

Fractangle #7

Fractangle #8

Fractangle #9

Fractangle (animated)

I’ve used the same fractangle to create this shape, which is variously known as a swastika (from Sanskrit svasti, “good luck, well-being”), a gammadion (four Greek Γs arranged in a circle) or a fylfot (from the shape being used to “fill the foot” of a stained glass window in Christian churches):

Trifylfot

Because it’s a fylfot created ultimately from a triangle, I’m calling it a trifylfot (TRIFF-ill-fot). Here’s how you make it:

Trifylfot (stage 1)

Trifylfot #2

Trifylfot #3

Trifylfot #4

Trifylfot #5

Trifylfot #6

Trifylfot #7

Trifylfot #8

Trifylfot #9

Trifylfot (animated)

And here are more trifylfots created from various forms of fractangle:

Elsewhere other-accessible

Fractangular Frolics — more on fractals from triangles