Beautiful. Natural systems here approximating to optimal functions for energy dispersion (as fluid dynamics) relative to a topography and geography (as much as geology) that they then proceed to reflexively shape and mold. It is no coincidence that the pinnacle of technological sophistication converges on nature’s own approximations. In this case – note how the breaking symmetry of a lightning bolt seeking lowest energy paths or a branching tree asserting growth towards optimal energy-efficiency all converge towards the same class of solution and complex aesthetic.
This would be an interesting application for a machine learning system to model the dynamical symmetries of recursive topographical shaping. The point? Imagine that same image as a time-lapse cartography of adaptive fluid dynamics, evolving over time, like flickering lightning bolts slowly settling down to an optimal solution in this context.