Fun Facts

  1. Spirals in nature get their shape because of an uneven growth rate. Think about the spiraled-horns on a bighorn sheep, or the spiral in a seashell – they grow more quickly on the outside edge than on the inside, causing a spiral to form.

 

  1. Every sunflower’s seeds are arranged in the same spiral pattern with the same exact number of spirals. Each has 34 spirals that go in one direction, while 55 go in the opposite direction. This arrangement allows the sunflower to pack the most seed heads in the least amount of space without smashing any one seed against its neighbors.

 

  1. Asymmetry in your anatomy can actually be to you advantage. Take Michael Phelps – his wingspan is wider than he is tall, and the ratio of his leg length to his torso is much smaller than average. This allows him to propel through the water faster than competitors with longer legs.

 

  1. Humans come in all shapes and sizes, but the underlying patterns make our bodies more alike than different. That’s because human anatomy follows predictable proportions, specifically The Golden Ratio, or phi (ɸ), which is the most common proportion found in nature. For example, your forearm is about 1.6 times longer than your hand.

 

  1. Making beautiful music can start with a simple reflection. Composers often use symmetry and repetition when writing music. They’ll take a single string of notes and reflect them backwards or upside down and then repeat them throughout a piece of music to create a pleasing melody.