# The Fibonacci Spiral in Nature

The Fibonacci spiral, or Golden spiral, comes directly from the Fibonacci sequence, a pattern of numbers popularized (but not discovered ^{(1)}) by Italian mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci. The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers whereby any number in the series (besides 0 and 1, the first two numbers in the sequence) is the sum of the previous two numbers ^{(2)}.

The spiral design is drawn as an arc connecting opposite corners of squares with lengths that correspond to each consecutive Fibonacci number ^{(3)}.

Ever since I was a kid, I was enthralled with the Fibonacci sequence. I wasn’t interested in any of the “mystical powers” that the sequence purportedly has (at least in popular culture.) Rather, I always just saw it simply as “something cool” like Sum of Some. In fact, I was so interested in it, in fact, that I did write programming code (in Ruby) that finds the nth Fibonacci number.

Despite my allergy to the notion that the Fibonacci sequence knows all, explains all, is all, I do find it pretty cool that it *does* show up in nature from time to time. The purpose of this essay is simply to celebrate its appearance in nature. Below are a few plants (and one animal, a mollusk) that illustrate the Fibonacci sequence. This is not an exhaustive list. The Fibonacci sequence can be found in the arrangement of leaves on the stalk of a sunflower (and other plants), the parentage of honeybees, chamomile, pineapples, the curling of ferns, artichokes, the curves of waves, etc ^{(4)}…

**References:**

- “Toward a Global Science”,
*Indiana University Press*, Goonatilake, Susantha - “Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Section”,
*University of Surrey*, Knott, Ron - “The Fibonacci Sequence, Spirals and the Golden Mean”,
*Temple University*, Reich, Dan - “Fibonacci Statistics in Conifers”,
*Fibonacci Quarterly*, Brousseau, A

Pingback: The Fibonacci Spiral in Nature | The Bloppy Blo...