THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in China set off a tornado in Texas) by Larry Butterworth

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THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in China set off a tornado in Texas) by 

All photos in this work are my own and my own original butterfly drawing.

The butterfly effect is a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. The term butterfly effect was applied in Chaos Theory to suggest that the wing movements of a butterfly might have significant repercussions on wind strength and movements throughout the weather systems of the world, and theoretically, could cause tornadoes halfway around the world.

What the butterfly effect seems to posit, is that the prediction of the behavior of any large system is virtually impossible unless one could account for all tiny factors, which might have a minute effect on the system. Thus large systems like weather remain impossible to predict because there are too many unknown variables to count.

The term “butterfly effect” is attributed to Edward Norton Lorenz, a mathematician and meteorologist, who was one of the first proponents of Chaos Theory. Though he had been working on the theory for some ten years, with the principal question as to whether a seagulls’ wing movements changes the weather, he changed to the more poetic butterfly in 1973.



  • banrai
    banraiabout 3 years ago

    fantastic image Larry coupled with an interesting write on Chaos Theory, great work!

  • Thanks as always Banrai

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneabout 3 years ago

    It’s certainly a fascinating theory, and you’ve illustrated it beautifully! Wonderful work, Larry!

  • Thanks Mel

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Paul Quixote Alleyne
    Paul Quixote A...about 3 years ago

    Great one Larry.

  • Thanks Paul as always

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Vanessa Barklay
    Vanessa Barklayabout 3 years ago

    Very beautiful, great concept thought.. :O)

  • Many thanks Vanessa

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Bruce  Dickson
    Bruce Dicksonabout 3 years ago

    Wonderful expression of the meaning though imagery

  • HI Bruce and thanks as always

    – Larry Butterworth

  • reflector
    reflectorabout 3 years ago

    A nicely chosen concept and a great image! Interesting theories.

  • Hi James and many thanks to you for commenting

    – Larry Butterworth

  • RosaCobos
    RosaCobosabout 3 years ago

    I knew the theory and I apply to it..I know it is true, for it speaks old tradition of thought and wisdom, like that of the Tantric and Taoist. And it is fascinating, for in that reasoning, this is apt to be applied to the human beings too…there is not “great man” or a “simple man”….all of them are working their life around in perfect symbiosis, and one should take care of any of them, even if they are crippled and sick. That is perfectly against the “eugenesy” that the Nazis practiced with human beings, as if they could despise the ones that were not fitting into their own “plans”…there is not plan..not divine , not human for what is the development of Life. That is anthropocentric and stupid. I love the idea of having my whole Life being affected by the movement of a butterfly there in China….it moves me to respect and reflection about Life and humbleness about what we think we are…and what our “destiny” is. Life is all…and All.
    As for your work of art, it is splendid, Larry…your idea of bringing a solid construction as a background, with the perfect imitation of a butterfly, created by men, and the subtle and efficient work of those real creatures that are there unconspicuously bringing such turmoils in our lives. That will teach us that nothing of what we do is there for the eternity. And no need to..someday we will be able to be transformed like a butterfly, from a cocoon…may be we are now a human-coocon, that has not enough space to breath in it, and this is why we feel so desperate and restless…and commit so many mistakes. Let´s receive the help from them…..Rosa (I love your work…it is beautiful, perfectly your style and thought provoking…unless for me..he, he, )

  • Your comments are breathtaking, just breathtaking Rosa, how can I ever thank you for your brilliance. I just feel special to see and read this. A huge hug for you.


    – Larry Butterworth

  • Keith Reesor
    Keith Reesorabout 3 years ago

    Simply amazing Larry!! :)

  • thanks again Keith

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeabout 3 years ago

    This is gorgeous! I love how your did this.

  • It’s a pleasure to have you comment Bunny, thanks so much

    – Larry Butterworth

  • Tanya Newman
    Tanya Newmanabout 3 years ago


  • Hey Tanya good to hear from you, thanks

    – Larry Butterworth

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