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Inverse Snow-Man

In a recent article in The New Yorker the mathematician Gregory Buck wrote about his observations on geometric figures in the winter landscape. He discovered many instances of ideal platonic solids, in the form of a christmas three or in ice crystals. 
When he watched some snow-man on an empty field he was wondering, why two or three white spheres plus a hat and some pieces of wood which depict the eyes, nose and mouth, is sufficient to gives us the illusion of a typical human being. He argues that a real person, not an abstract portrait being is anything else than the assembly of three white spheres. 

But in my opinion, the writer of this essay may have watched the snowman simply from the wrong side, very much as one can see a vase or two faces in this famous drawing by Edgar Rubin
Gregory Buck's perception of the Snow Man is the assembly of three white spheres, one for the head, a middle one for the belly, and a lower one for .. hard to tell, maybe a shirt weared above an underground grid like Marilyn Monroe had it in "The Seven Year Itch", or a pair of oriental trousers used by the sultans and their servants ?   No, none of either. The key is to is to view the reciprocal image, not the three white spheres, but the empty spaces between them. 
Suddenly you understand what the typical Snowman symbolizes: An upright body (yes, perhaps a lady), with a thin neck and a slim waistline.  If you want to have the numbers: Snow Mans or Snow Womans Bust/waist/hip size could be well in the range of 36-27-38.   And thats the reason why SnowMan always look rather feminin, or like an oriental sultan.


  1. Hi Michael, where have you seen this snowman ? My dads friends in frankfurt called recently and said there are 18 degrees, like spring time ?

    Sent from my Nokia Lumia

    1. It is not clear to me if we still have later summer here or already an too early spring. Nature is a bit confused, it seems this year. The snowman on the photo above somebody send to me from Canada.