Few would deny the beauty and wonder of spirals in nature. It turns out the source of our attraction may stem from a fundamentally beautiful principal of mathematics!
And yes, even for the most math-impairs among us, this concept is worth a closer look and a little celebration.
First, a thought exercise: what does the architecture of the inside of a snail’s shell have to do with a sunflower?
And how is a pine cone like a famous staircase in the Vatican Museum?
What about the relationship between a cabbage cut in half and a tropical storm?
You know where I’m going: there is a remarkable pattern, a design order in nature that follows a mathematical principle to beautiful ends.
OK, we could leave it there, but as usual, I can’t leave it there.
The video Hank mentioned by ViHart is excellent and brings the whole topic into focus with some lovely images as examples.
Hang in there through the beginning of this next video. There’s a lot of math at the start, but then after about a minute and a half, she brings things to a new level for those of us who are more visual learners.
And if you truly hate math, watch this anyway and ignore the math.
So for all life forms that use the sequence, it’s all about optimizing. The Fibonacci Sequence is not just beautiful and useful, it is inevitable.
I love Vihart’s summary of the wonder of science and mathematics
You figure out how things that seemed impossible are true, and then it seems impossible for them not to be true. – ViHart
Maybe that’s the point of this whole article, especially if you were not in it for the mathematics!
Can you think of a time when something seemed impossible, and yet now, you can not imagine life without it?
Maybe your next improbable dream will someday be a reality.
Stay open, curious, and optimistic!
~ Dr. Lynda
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- Scishow. “The Fibonacci Sequence: Nature’s Code.” YouTube. SciShow, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2017. <www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTlw7fNcO-0> ↩
- ViHart. “Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant [Part 3 of 3].” YouTube. ViHart, 20 Jan. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2017. <www.youtube.com/watch?v=14-NdQwKz9w> ↩