Sunflowers Follow The Fibonacci Pattern

Samuel Reason - November 5th, 2020

What some thought was just a hypnotic pattern found in sunflowers, nature was actually following a strict mathematical path. It can only be described as nature literally blowing our minds. Sunflowers are definitely beautiful and their giant yellow heads flowing the sunlight are iconic. Some of the most picturesque landscape paintings or photos show bright yellow sunflowers against a blue sky. Furthermore, they are a favorite photo to put on Instagram or Pinterest.

twimg.com

And of course, we love to munch on the seeds produced by sunflowers. However, if you stop and start to study the pattern inside the flower itself. Well, then you may just be amazed. You see it is much more than just a beautiful plant and food. These yellow flowers are known to biologists as a mathematical marvel. You see the pattern of the seeds found inside a sunflower’s head follows the Fibonacci sequence perfectly: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… you get the idea.

If you remember your math class lessons at all then you would remember that the Fibonacci sequence means each number is the sum of the previous two numbers. When it comes to sunflowers, the center spirals are formed following this sequence for numbers. As a result, you find two series of curves going in opposition directions winding around each other. It starts are the center, continuously going outwards until it reaches the petals. Each seed sits at a little angle against its neighbor to ensure the spiral forms.

For maximum optimization, the sunflower picks an angle which is known as the golden mean: 137.5 degrees. Any other angle and the flower head would not be perfectly filled with sunflower seeds. If the sunflower did not follow the golden mean then the two spirals would not be able to form. Meaning we would not have the beautiful flower we so much love! Truly amazing to think about how sunflowers seeds are created following a perfect math sequence. The crazy part is that sometimes the flowers do seem to get the sequence wrong, showing us that life is indeed messy.

Next Article
  • Kolkata to London Used To Be The World’s Longest Bus Route

    Back in the 1960s, there used to be a bus running from Kolkata, known as Calcutta back then, all the way to London. That means it drove from India to the United Kingdom. It was a trip known as Albert Tours, as the double-decker bus was colloquially referred to as Albert. It was for a...

    Read More
  • Record For Longest Survived Elevator Fall

    If you have ever thought you were having a bad day, just think about poor Betty Lou Oliver who cheated death twice on the same day. It would probably have to be one of the worst days at work ever. Though silver lining she did earn a world record: longest survived elevator fall. It started...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Shark Arm Case in Australia

    In 1935, the infamous case of the shark arm started when a tiger shark in captivity vomited up a human arm. The tiger shark was in the Coogee Aquarium Baths on public display. After just a week it became very ill and vomited in front of a crowd. What came out was the forearm of...

    Read More
  • The Only Man In History To Turn Down A Nobel Peace Prize

    Le Duc Tho was a very tough and nonsense negotiator to resolve world conflicts. Notably, the Vietnamese chief negotiator was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1973 for his part in the Paris Peace Accords. This was a joint award with his American counterpart Henry Kissinger. However, only Kissinger accepted the award. This made Le Duc...

    Read More
  • The Lost Notebook Of Ramanujan

    Ramanujan is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians to ever live. He grew up in a poor Brahmin family in India, with very limited access to any form of education. At the age of 15, he was lucky to receive a copy of Carr’s Synopsis of Pure Mathematics. Apparently, this book set him on...

    Read More
  • The Crazy Story Of The Women In The Mercury 13 Program

    During the 1960s at the height of the Cold War and the space race, 13 women went through grueling NASA tests. It was a set of tests to prove they could go on to become astronauts, but none of the women ever made it to space. In fact, the program’s eventual shutdown changed the whole...

    Read More
  • The Legend Of The Sleeping Barbarossa Emperor

    Emperor Frederick I. also known as Barbarossa was an Emperor of modern-day Germany. He became a symbol of stability and national unity, even years after his death. Because the country fell into war and civil war, the people longed for the peace that had existed with Barbarossa’s rule. The legend started because his body was...

    Read More