bezlo blog

  • Ivana Lee

Sunflowers and their Golden Ratio Magic

The Golden Ratio is the literal “Gold Standard” for all that is beautiful. It can be seen in famous paintings, ancient architecture, and even nature. We think the Golden Ratio is the perfect intersection of art, mathematics, and science, so we just had to design a shirt that captures its beauty!

Our design process was heavily influenced by our research on the math and science behind the sunflower and how nature works its magic to create the elegant mathematical pattern shown in the sunflower’s spirals. With Clodagh’s vision and awesome fashion sense, Ivana’s mathematical expertise, and Dag’s creative design talents, we were able to create a design that’s both beautiful and educational! Let’s look into what makes this design so mathe-magical.

In the head of a sunflower, the seeds are arranged so that there are two sets of spirals winding in opposite directions, each following the golden spiral (shown above).

The seeds in a spiral are arranged at a specific angle, 137.5 degrees, from its neighbor. What’s cool about this is that this arrangement allows the seeds to be perfectly packed without gaps or overlaps, allowing the sunflower to have the maximum amount of seeds and get the most sunlight!

If you count the number of spirals going clockwise and counterclockwise in a sunflower, you’ll find that they will also always be two consecutive Fibonacci Numbers. How amazing is nature?! We’ve captured this concept in our design, as the number of spirals of seeds going clockwise is 34 and the number of spirals going counterclockwise is 55.

34 spirals going clockwise (Photo courtesy of Museum of Math)

55 spirals going counterclockwise (Photo courtesy of Museum of Math)

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, ...

The Fibonacci Sequence up to 55. Note that the numbers 34 and 55 are consecutive Fibonacci Numbers.

The number of bright golden petals on our sunflower is 13 – another Fibonacci number! This holds true in nature, as the number of petals on most flowers is likely to be a Fibonacci number.

We hope that Bezlo girls enjoy discovering the mathematics and science hidden in our design. We also hope that Bezlo Girls seek out the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence in nature! The Stay Golden shirt is the perfect tee for Bezlo girls to wear while they explore the mathematics in the world around us! Where else can you find this magical pattern?