What happens when you start with something simple like 1+1, and end up exploring the fundamental nature of things? Welcome to the amazing world of Fibonacci numbers. The number of petals in a daisy is a Fibonacci number. This is also true for many other types of flowers (geraniums, chrysanthemums, lilies, etc.). Fibonacci numbers also appear often in seeds. The bracts of a pine cone spiral, scales in a pineapple spiral, and seeds in the center of a sunflower spiral – all Fibonacci numbers. It doesn’t end with plants, and many seashell spirals, like the conch shell, exhibit Fibonacci numbers also.

Population growth also has Fibonacci numbers in the mix. So, if you have read this far, you may wonder what a Fibonacci number is and what 1+1 has to do with it? Leonardo Fibonacci (1170-1250) traveled throughout the Mediterranean world to study under the leading Arab mathematicians of the time. He was influential in introducing the Hindu-Arabic numeral 0-9 in Europe, which eventually replaced the Roman numeral. Simply stated, a Fibonacci number is one in a series that starts with 0 and 1, and each new number in the series is the sum of the two before it:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987…

It’s a sequence that appears in nature, but it is unsure to scientists why this is so. It is the simplest way to spiral perhaps. 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8 etc… The ratio of each successive pair of numbers in the series approaches (1.618), known as the golden ratio, or phi – See GoldenRatio.

It’s a fundamental number, like my blog on pi, and phi has many interesting avenues of exploration as well. It appears in the proportions of many life forms. Nature must know something according to its devices. 1+1 = 2 leads to 1+2 = 3 leads to 2+3 = 5 etc… Of our own devices, there is simplicity and beauty without the mathematics, but it does provide an avenue of thought – What is the fundamental nature of things? The Golden ratio is within you – an avenue of exploration as well.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Beware the Jabberwock! And some bit of Phi too!