How Fibonacci Numbers Are Expressed in Nature (Video)

Video screen capture. Vihart

To gaze upon the masterful beauty of a pristine forest at dawn or the delicately intricate wings of a butterfly, one might surmise that Nature, at heart, is an artist. Though as most people already know, there exists in the natural world a detailed sense of numerical order that bears the mark of a true mathematician, yet often it seems you have to be one too to fully appreciate its complexity. Maybe you recall some sleepy high school algebra class discussion of the Fibonacci sequence, a handy mathematical formula used for making boring old golden spirals -- but perhaps you've never fully appreciated the significance of this sequence to life on Earth.

In her latest informative video lesson, YouTube user Vihart outlines the seemingly confounding appearance of the Fibonacci sequence in nature in a way that's sure to have you finding patterns you never noticed before.

Recently, another incredibly bright youngster grabbed headlines by exploring the possibilites of improving clean-energy efficiency by applying the Fibonacci sequence. Inspired by the placement and angle of branches and leaves along a tree's trunk, teenager Aidan Dwyer set about creating a solar panel array in line with nature's arrangement with results that caught the attention of more than a few grown-ups.

In the world of academia, so often it seems that mathematics and artistic interests stand at the opposite ends of scholastic pursuit -- but in the natural world, a better understanding of one only heightens the appreciation of the other.

Via Brain Pickings