This is an OpenGL experiment I threw together in about a week. The sphere is made up of 327,680 untextured triangles and 163,842 vertices. It was tessellated by recursively subdividing each face of an icosahedron into four equal sub-faces, and projecting the new vertices outward onto the surface of a circumscribing sphere.
There are 20 "crawlers" on the sphere, which randomly jump from vertex to neighboring vertex, adding heat. Heat is then diffused between all neighboring vertices, with an appropriate color gradient applied to the rendering.
While this program is itself merely a visual diversion, the underlying mesh and vertex-adjacency graph generation code will serve as a foundation for future work, such as weather simulation or games.