What are some things with a hexagonal shape?

There are many hexagons in nature, like the way the cells of a beehive fit together or the way the crystals of a snowflake are shaped. Turtle shells often have hexagonal marks all over them. In Scotland, the Giant’s Causeway is a piece of land made up of 40,000 hexagonal columns of basalt. Hexagons are often used for tiles, pavers, and other wall and floor coverings. They are also often used to make the grids in solar panels.

Hexagons are common because they use space well. The square and the equilateral triangle are the only two other regular polygons that fit together to cover a flat surface without any gaps.

Because a hexagon has six sides instead of four, its area has a more compact fixed perimeter than either a square or a triangle. This means that honeycomb is made up of hexagonal cells, which use the least amount of wax to cover the most space and leave no space between cells.

Circles can also be packed closely together in a hexagonal pattern. For example, when you put six marbles in a round dish, they naturally form a hexagonal shape with one marble in the middle.


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