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O P E N  F O R U M

  D E C O D I N G   N A T U R E


1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21… Do you see these numbers anywhere around you? Look more carefully because they are everywhere! If you are holding this magazine you can probably see this pattern out of the corner of your eye! Confused? Read on to clear your thoughts.

The Basics

This pattern of numbers is called the Fibonacci sequence. The Fibonacci numbers were first recognised as maatraameru (mountain of cadence) by the Sanskrit grammarian Pingala. But, the sequence is named after Leonardo de Pisa, also known as Leonardo Fibonacci, the greatest European mathematician of the middle ages. Leonardo Fibonacci was the first European to relate this sequence of numbers to the natural world around him.

This sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34… adds two
sequential numbers together to get the next. For example 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, and this continues infinitely. This sequence could be developed by anybody who knows how to add, then why is it so special?

It is special because there are innumerable examples in nature, including honeybee populations and flower petal arrangements, which exhibit the Fibonacci sequence or Fibonacci numbers. The bones in your hand are a prefect example.


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