A polyhedron is a three dimensional solid made up of faces, edges and corners. Many naturally occurring crystals have polyhedral shaped structures.

A regular polyhedron is made up entirely of regular polygons. All of its faces, edges and corners are identical. Collectively known as the regular polyhedra, polyhedron were first studied by the ancient Greeks over 2000 years ago and have since been called Platonic Solids, named after Plato, (circa 350BC). Plato associated them with the elements and the cosmos.

There are five Platonic Solids.

  1. Tetrahedron

The simplest of the Platonic solids is the tetrahedron. It is made up of four equilateral triangles.

tetrahedron

  1. Hexahedron

Also commonly known as the cube, the hexahedron is made up of six squares.

cube

  1. Octahedron

The Octahedron is made up of eight equilateral triangles.

octahedron

  1. Icosahedron

The Icosahedron is made up of twenty equilateral triangles.

icosahedron

  1. Dodecahedron

The Dodecahedron is made up of twelve regular pentagons.

dodecahedron

The Greeks believed that four of platonic solids underpinned the structure of the four traditional elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The fifth solid representing the Universe, or Aether the “fifth” element.

Fire: Tetrahedron                            Air: Octahedron                               Earth: Hexahedron

Water: Icosahedron                       Aether: Dodecahedron

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Fire: Tetrahedron

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Air: Octahedron

platonic-solids-7

Water: Icosahedron

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Earth: Tetrahedron

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Aether: Dodecahedron

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