This is an implementation of procedural generation of snowflakes. The original motivation was as a cryptographically secure visual hash, so that people would reliably be able to tell by visual inspection whether two hashes were identical.
Tip: try editing the hash; that'll give insight into how it's grown.
I was reminded of this by vrk's plantsim project, which has a similar procedural growth concept.
Raph Levien • Recurse Center, New York City • 2017-09-08