Remarkable examples of Fibonacci sequence in Nature

Admin | Published 2016-08-08 14:40
    You've probably heard of Golden ratio or Fibonacci sequence. Many artists, designers, scientists and others were mesmerized with it. The Fibonacci sequence starts like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55... Actually, it is easy to predict the pattern. The amazing fact about this sequence is that it seems to be like a programming code for Cosmos. So, take a look at this list of Fibbo in nature.

Flower petals

The number of petals in a flower consistently follows the Fibonacci sequence. Famous examples include the lily, which has three petals, buttercups, which have five (pictured at left), the chicory's 21, the daisy's 34, and so on. Phi appears in petals on account of the ideal packing arrangement as selected by Darwinian processes; each petal is placed at 0.618034 per turn (out of a 360° circle) allowing for the best possible exposure to sunlight and other factors.


Seed heads

The head of a flower is also subject to Fibonaccian processes. Typically, seeds are produced at the center, and then migrate towards the outside to fill all the space. Sunflowers provide a great example of these spiraling patterns. In some cases, the seed heads are so tightly packed that total number can get quite high — as many as 144 or more. And when counting these spirals, the total tends to match a Fibonacci number. Interestingly, a highly irrational number is required to optimize filling (namely one that will not be well represented by a fraction). Phi fits the bill rather nicely.


The unique properties of the Golden Rectangle provides another example. This shape, a rectangle in which the ratio of the sides a/b is equal to the golden mean (phi), can result in a nesting process that can be repeated into infinity — and which takes on the form of a spiral. It's call the logarithmic spiral, and it abounds in nature.


Animal bodies

Even our bodies exhibit proportions that are consistent with Fibonacci numbers. For example, the measurement from the navel to the floor and the top of the head to the navel is the golden ratio. Animal bodies exhibit similar tendencies, including dolphins (the eye, fins and tail all fall at Golden Sections), starfish, sand dollars, sea urchins, ants, and honey bees.


Even the microscopic realm is not immune to Fibonacci. The DNA molecule measures 34 angstroms long by 21 angstroms wide for each full cycle of its double helix spiral. These numbers, 34 and 21, are numbers in the Fibonacci series, and their ratio 1.6190476 closely approximates Phi, 1.6180339.

Spiral Galaxies

Not surprisingly, spiral galaxies also follow the familiar Fibonacci pattern. The Milky Way has several spiral arms, each of them a logarithmic spiral of about 12 degrees. As an interesting aside, spiral galaxies appear to defy Newtonian physics. As early as 1925, astronomers realized that, since the angular speed of rotation of the galactic disk varies with distance from the center, the radial arms should become curved as galaxies rotate. Subsequently, after a few rotations, spiral arms should start to wind around a galaxy. But they don't — hence the so-called winding problem. The stars on the outside, it would seem, move at a velocity higher than expected — a unique trait of the cosmos that helps preserve its shape.

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