April 14, 2012

Understanding Fibonacci in Nature

I have always wondered about the whole "Fibonacci spirals in nature" thing. Fibonacci numbers are the numbers generated when you add each previous two numbers to generate the next.

For example: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc. (1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 8+5=13, 8+13=21) 

But two things were always unclear to me:

1.  How are spirals in nature related to Fibonacci numbers? What is a Fibonacci spiral?

2.  Why do things tend to grow in these Fibonacci spirals? There must be a reason right?

Well, I came across an excellent Youtube series that explains this, and really well at that!

See below. It is a three part series and each video is only abou 6 minutes long. Definitely worth seeing. Quite amazing and ingenious. Thanks to ViHart.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

A fern fiddlehead showing the Fibonacci spiral

The leaf pattern of a Solidago spp. (Goldenrod) to optimize light capture.


  1. i love the photo of the goldenrod! have you ever heard of viktor schauberger? he studied the spiraling of nature alot, and designed machines off of them. pretty fascinating dude.
    keep up the awesome blogging!!

  2. Wow! Viktor Schauberger seems fantastic! I will definitely check him out. Another interesting application of nature was recently discovered by a 13-year old, who realized that setting up solar panels as leaves on a Fibonacci sequence tree branch pattern will yield a much more efficient capture of light. see this: http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/youngnaturalistawards/2011/aidan.html

    Thanks Monique! so great to hear from you!