But what about the resemblance? And the fern leaves and frosty patterns have a maximum surface area for a given volume. For ferns (and any other plant) necessary for respiration and assimilation of carbon dioxide goes through the leaf surface. In those cases where you need reduce the cost of water to evaporation, plants like cacti, they acquire a spherical shape with a maximum surface area. But to pay for it to decrease the rate of assimilation SO and therefore slowing growth. Water vapor, crystallizing in the cold glass, and form a structure with maximum surface because the rate of loss of free energy at this maximum (the crystals grow from the surface). So the analogy between the crystals and living organisms have heuristic value.
Liquid, pour out of the container under weightless conditions, takes the form of a billiard ball (energy minimum surface tension). But between the game billiard and space flight as much in common, as between the crystallization and growth of a living organism. This does not imply that the crystalline forms of alien life. Here is a good example. Many people know innocuous large mosquitoes, crane-fly, with long fragile legs. Their larvae live in moist soil, feeding on decayed plant remains. Among them you can meet animals, painted in blue with an iridescent shimmer. They seem sluggish, and they really are sick – infected with iridescent virus. In the hemolymph of these larvae can detect amazingly beautiful crystals, glittering like sapphires. The crystals are composed of particles of the virus – virions.