For you mathematicians

Here you can see a fine example of nature’s geometry: the spiral in a snail’s shell which illustrates the Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Number very well, so I’m told.

However if you want to know more, ask a mathematician, or google it :)

Author: Sarah

No time to lose. No, time to lose. Make time to stand and stare.... Did you see that?

11 thoughts on “For you mathematicians”

  1. Nym, I recall that during student times several mates who were reading maths got very excited about waves too. You have to wonder sometimes.

  2. Lovely photograph, Nym, but although I did google the mathematics bit, I really am quite happy to remain in ignorance. In other words it all went over my head!

  3. Hello Pseu: That’s what the biologists would have you believe about snail (and Nautilus) shells, but it is not correct.

    Yes, those shells are equiangular spirals but they are not the special case which is called Fibonacci (golden ratio of 1.618 approx.). Typically they have ratios on the 1.3 to 1.4 range Fibonacci series spirals are hard to find in nature. I do not know weather (sic) Bravo’s Sandy is Fibonacci but it looks pretty close from the overlay. In fact the Fiboncci is not technically a spiral but a series of linked quarter circles.

    I’ll shut up now.

  4. LW, Some time ago I was asked to provide some measurements for some clothes that were being made for me elsewhere. In any event, rather than go to a tailor, I did the measurements myself. I confess, that I cannot remember exactly what 2 measurements in particular were involved, probably something like inside leg and length from waist to ground, but, whatever they were, when I divided the latter by the former, it came to exactly 1,618, which I took as proof that my physique was perfect. Now you tell me that the Golden Ratio does not really exist in nature. Should I conclude that I am in fact a freak?

  5. A little aside. I’d heard of the Fibonacci series – hasn’t everyone? – but never really wondered about Fibonacci himself, until tonight. A quick google finds out that it was a book by him that was instrumental in introducing the Arabic numeral system into mathematics in Europe. It also turns out that the Fibonacci sequence was known by the Indians 600 years earlier.

  6. Take your point LW so some of the nautiloids and ammonites would conform but not others, eg pseu’s snail?
    Have seen fossils that definitely could qualify but thinking about it not much living around that conforms to the quarter circle rule, nearly all dead by several million years. Perhaps it was not a good shape in nature, the inhabitant winkled out too easily, gets too big too quickly? Very beautiful but not workable.
    If that storm conforms that too is not long lived either.
    Very interesting.

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