The mysterious pentagon

November 1, 2010 § 16 Comments

There are interesting patterns all around us. Here is one I found the other day. We were boiling lentils in a shallow bowl… and then, out of nowhere emerged an almost perfect pentagon!

The almost perfect pentagon that showed up on the surface
of the boiling lentils!

How cool is that. And does it mean something that five is a magical number (see thisthis and this). As this page on numerology says

Five is the symbol of human microcosm. The number of the human being. Human forms—the pentagon when arms and legs are out stretched. The pentagon is endless —sharing the symbolism of perfection and power of the circle. Five is a circular number as it produces itself in its last digit when raised to its own power. The pentacle, like the circle symbolizes whole, the quincunx being the number of its center and the meeting point of heaven, earth, and the four cardinal points plus the center point.

Five is also representative of the Godhead – Central Creator of the four fours plus itself equalling five. Five is the marriage of the hieros gamos as combination of feminine and the masculine. Feminine being even, as 2, in frequency and masculine being odd as 3 in frequency = 5.

The number five symbolizes meditation; religion; versatility. It represents the five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing) everywhere except in the East. In the East there are six—the extra being Mind. We find meanings to five in the five petaled flower, five pointed leaves–especially the ROSE. The Rose has much symbolism, but also the lily, vine, all of which represent the microcosm.

The five pointed star depicts individuality and spiritual aspiration, and education when it points upward. The five pointed star pointing downward represents witchcraft, and it is used in black magic. Noted: There is a very broad difference between witchcraft and black magic.

The number five formed the first counting process from which all else came.

Hmm… so what does this magical appearance of the pentagon mean?

If we believe that every pattern has some underlying explanation, can there be a more mundane explanation? I have a possible hypothesis of what lies behind this phenomena… but what do you think? Where did this pattern come from?

§ 16 Responses to The mysterious pentagon

  • Punya Mishra says:

    @david, I like your explanation – though I did post my “solution” a couple of weeks later. You can find it at http://punya.educ.msu.edu/2010/11/14/the-mysterious-pentagon-explained/
    ~ punya

  • david says:

    If you look at the shape of single lentil seeds, most of them have signs of a faceted pentagon. When they are being boiled in water or other liquid the chaotic motion make them agglomerate (get together)and agglomerated groups take a shape of a pentagon as the single seeds are pushed toward each other and cannot rotate anymore as a result of the motion. Similar things happen during a single crystalline substance growth in material science.

  • Fiat Beograd says:

    Shape is neat but what could it be otherwise?

  • Gamos says:

    It’s the first time that hieros gamos (which means holy marriages) is mentioned with the pentagon i guess. Nice explanation of the pattern though.

  • Spyware trial says:

    The question that immediately pops to mind is if this is a one time event (just a coincident) or does it repeat itself over and over again.

  • It is quite a strange shape shape but the idea that the heat source has the same kind of shape is probably the reason for it.

    Even though it is still pretty cool the shape that has formed in the lentils.

  • Autokary says:

    “I think it might be an issue of heat distribution and you may want to have the stovetop examined.”

    I agree with Chris F.

    Regards

    kubek

  • Greg says:

    It’s thought provoking to delve into the mysteries of how we perceive and why we can preceive through suggestion. If I were to look at your picture without the suggestion that there is a pentagon, I would see boiling lentils clumped together through some sort of microthermal attraction. The space in between the lentils is there because someone stirred the boiling mixture. If the pot had not been disturbed, I wonder if the lentils would be grouped together in the middle of the pot? If the pot’s bottom were shaped with a rounded edge, would this further encourage the lentil grouping?

    Another thought deals with an analogy to cloud watching. What other shapes can be seen in this design?

    Also, if we were to stir the lentils vigorously for a period of time and then allow them to settle, would they form a massive group in the pan’s middle? If we shut off the heat, would the lentils group together or spread apart? What if we were to add salt?

    Good example!

  • Karen Milczynski says:

    I agree with the previous posts that say it likely formed this way because of the heat source below… however, I also agree with JC… At first glance I saw the pentagon, but I actually see a bunch of pentagons from different angles. I see a soccer ball. (Probably because I’m eagerly awaiting my co-ed soccer league to start up play.) I think there is a personal perspective that heavily influences what we see here.

  • Daniel says:

    Its a Pentagon…. thats it,…

  • Chloe says:

    I would assume that the pattern reflects the shape of the burner. Too simple?

  • Jean-Claude says:

    Hi Punya

    I don’t think this is a pentagon any more than it is a paw or a human hand with the fingers folded and thumb stretched out.
    To see the picture of the paw and human hand, please visit my blog at jeanclaude1.edublogs.org.

    I didn’t see a pentagon until you pointed it out. There isn’t a pentagon or paw or human hand or anything else. There’s only what our mind allows us to see. Your being in the US probably influenced your perception of a pentagon. I saw a paw because I have 2 puppies and I see their paws everywhere:-)As for the hand, it might be because I used to draw a lot when i was little, mainly human body parts. And I’m sure other people can see other shapes based on their cultural background. This is the answer to what you saw: Your cultural background.

    JC

  • Mary says:

    it’s all about the heat source from underneath – areas of the dish were heated differently than other areas so changed the distribution of the ingredients.
    :-)

  • Chris F. says:

    I think it might be an issue of heat distribution and you may want to have the stovetop examined.

    Seriously however, since the Pentagon is also the Department of Defense building for the US, maybe it was a premonition of the recent explosive scare on the airlines.

  • Bob Reuter says:

    soooo coool… I’m looking forward to the explanations… :-)

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