What Are Some Hexagon-Shaped Objects?
A hexagon is a six-sided figure with six angles. Regular hexagons with equal sides and equal angles are a commonly found shape in nature. The honeycomb of bees, for example, is a naturally occurring instance of the hexagon. Minerals and crystals often form hexagonal shapes naturally, while the chemical compounds of graphene and benzene naturally form hexagons at the atomic level.
The Honeycomb Conjecture is a mathematical theory describing why honey bees construct hexagonal cells when they construct honeycombs from wax. The theory states that a grid of hexagons, by sharing cell walls, uses the least material to fill a given space. This makes it the most efficient way for honey bees to build a honeycomb.
At the atomic level, compounds, such as benzene, form when six carbon atoms form a carbon ring, creating a hexagonal shape. The carbon ring, attached at each point by a hydrogen atom, is a simple and stable organic compound. Benzene is usually found in oil deposits. When a carbon ring attaches itself ad infinitum to other carbon rings, it is known as graphene. The properties of graphene are not well understood, as it was only first produced in a laboratory setting in 2003. It promises, however, to have great potential due to its extreme molecular strength.