It’s not often that visualizations of mathematical formulas end up in dorm rooms.
But the trippy fractals that were discovered in the 1970s by Benoit Mandelbrot, who died Oct. 14, irregularly morphed from science journals to pop culture. The fractals, which help explain the rough shapes of everything from clouds, coastlines and cauliflower, have made their way to a number of popular items such as T-shirts and dresses over the years. For instance, at fractalposters.com buyers can generate their own customized fractals, which can then be made into a poster to show that they’re not only cool but also scientifically minded.
The funky shapes also seem to lend themselves well to music. Fractals can be found in the limited edition artwork from the Outkast album Stankonia, which features a computer-generated Mandelbrot set, and the iTunes Visualizer also uses the equation to create its stunning imagery set to music.
For more, go to TIME’s amazing photo gallery of fractals.