Fibonacci numbers in nature

Yesterday in the bliss of eating some fresh pineapple, I recalled how this winter my 7-year-old and I have been watching lectures from The Teaching Company‘s course entitled the Joy of Thinking, about math and some science in everyday living. One of the lectures talks about spirals in flowers and fruits and how, specifically, they occur in amounts that match portions of the Fibonacci sequence. Somehow I think appreciating this made the pineapple sweeter. Maybe your children will enjoy exploring Fibonacci Numbers in Nature, too.

Then again, maybe Nature doesn’t know math, and rather than appreciating the pineapple, one could marvel at the human brain’s relentless capacity for finding patterns. After all the Fibonacci spirals of flower petals, as shown in Joy of Thinking, occur as the optimal arrangement for sharing space and shade rather than because the numbers are cool.

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