The Golden Ratio in Nature


So, why do shapes that exhibit the Golden Ratio seem more appealing to the human eye? No one really knows for sure. But we do have evidence that the Golden Ratio seems to be Nature's perfect number. Take, for example, the head of a daisy:

Somebody with a lot of time on their hands discovered that the individual florets of the daisy (and of a sunflower as well) grow in two spirals extending out from the center. The first spiral has 21 arms, while the other has 34. Do these numbers sound familiar? They should - they are Fibonacci numbers! And their ratio, of course, is the Golden Ratio. We can say the same thing about the spirals of a pinecone, where spirals from the center have 5 and 8 arms, respectively (or of 8 and 13, depending on the size)- again, two Fibonacci numbers:

A pineapple has three arms of 5, 8, and 13 - even more evidence that this is not a coincidence. Now is Nature playing some kind of cruel game with us? No one knows for sure, but scientists speculate that plants that grow in spiral formation do so in Fibonacci numbers because this arrangement makes for the perfect spacing for growth. So for some reason, these numbers provide the perfect arrangement for maximum growth potential and survival of the plant.




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©2001 by Mr. David L. Narain

Last Updated January 3, 2003