This polyhedron is chiral, meaning that (unlike many well-known polyhedra) it exists in “left-handed” and “right-handed” forms — reflections of each other. These “reflections” are also called enantiomers. I call this polyhedron “sixty and sixty” because there are sixty faces which are irregular, purple quadrilaterals, as well as sixty faces which are irregular, orange pentagons.
I stumbled upon this polyhedron while playing around with Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, software you can try right here. For those who research polyhedra, I know of no better tool.
To see the other enantiomer, there is a simple way — just hold a mirror in front of your computer screen, with it showing the image above, and look in the mirror!
With any chiral polyhedron, it is possible to make a compound out of the two enantiomers. Here is what the compound looks like, for this “sixty and sixty” polyhedron cannot be seen this way, so here is an image of it, also created using Stella 4d.
If someone had asked me if it were possible to form a symmetric polyhedra out of irregular triangles and octagons, using exactly sixty of one type each, I would have guessed that it were not possible. Why does it work here? Part of the reason is that each triangle borders three octagons, and each octagon borders three triangles — a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. This is a partial truncation of an isomorph of the pentagonal hexacontahedron, the dual of the snub dodecahedron. As such, no surprise — it’s chiral.
This was made while stumbling about in the wilderness of the infinite number of possible polyhedra using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. You can get it here: http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
To make this, I attached tall pyramids (by their vertices) to the centers of the triangular faces of a snub dodecahedron. These pyramids have bases which are regular polygons with sixty sides each. After that modification of a snub dodecahedron, I took the convex hull of the result.
Just like the snub dodecahedron upon which this is based, this polyhedron is chiral. For any chiral polyhedron, Stella 4d (the software I use to make most of the images on this blog) will allow you to quickly make a compound of the polyhedron and its mirror image. When I did that, I obtained this result.