7 Ways We See Math in Nature

Spider Webs

Spiders have a certain drive about them as they are always weaving and spinning there beautiful webs. Crazily enough, almost all orb spiders weave circular webs creating complex patterns based off of different anchor points. While it is not quite completely understood as to why spiders seem to weave their webs this way, it does seem that there could very practical reasons behind it, such as a webs strength or amount of energy it takes to create a web. It could even deal with a circle being a natural shape to connect several different objects together. Either way, they’re hooked and aren’t stopping anytime soon!

spider web


Evolution is an amazing process! Over millions of years bees have created honeycombs to to fit as much possible honey into each individual cell. This has led them to use the shape of a hexagon which allows for the maximum amount of honey to fit in the best design shape, as a honeycomb is stackable horizontally and vertically. Honey, which is a food source for bees during long winter months, is then able to be stored until it is needed. Go bees, go!

honeycomb - 7 ways we see math in nature

Nautilus Shell

The Nautilus shell are complex complex shapes built off of a sequence called the Fibonacci spiral, very similar to the Fibonacci sequence discussed above. This sequence maintains the same proportional shape as the size grows larger and outwards creating the difference in gaps within the Nautilus shell. Since a Nautilus spends its life within a shell, it is able to continue growing in its home without ever changing its natural shape. Odd indeed!

nautilus shell

Snow Flakes

These amazing bits of nature are known to never be alike. Except in one odd instance, snowflakes are symmetrical to themselves. Resulting from the fusion of hydrogen and oxygen bonds, snowflakes always make a hexagonal shape that appear to be symmetrical to itself. Due to atmospheric and other conditions, no two snowflakes looks alike but one snowflake is perfectly reflective of itself. Definitely one of the weirder parts of science.

snow flake

Moon and Sun

The galaxy is seemingly infinite, but no place is like home. That is made especially so by the relationship between the sun and the moon. Somehow something in the universe played out in a way that we have very few to no actual examples of, and by this we mean the total solar eclipse. This phenomenon happens because of the symmetry in ration between the sun’s size and distance from the earth in relation to the moon. The sun is known to be four hundred times the size of the Earth’s moon and is also four hundred times further away creating a perfect ratio for the moon to be able to block the sun. An spectacular feat and one that defines lifetimes!

moon sun


Sunflowers, and many other types of flowers, follow the rule of numerical symmetry known as the Fibonacci sequence, which is a set group of numbers where each number is determined by the addition of the previous two. It starts at one and can go onto infinity. This creates the complex swirling effect that allows for the most amount of material to fit in the any given amount of space. This process is great for efficiency and can be seen in different plants all over the world.

sunflowers - 7 ways we see math in nature

Romanesco Broccoli

If you look too long at the romanesco broccoli you could swear it was moving. But how? Inwards? Outwards? This effect is mostly because each floret of the romanesco is in essence a fractal pattern. A fractal pattern is a self-replicating shape where the smallest part of the shape mirrors the the object as a whole. So each tiny little spiral is an imitation of the floret as a whole, creating a complex, yet simple, shapes.
The romanesco broccoli is a mix between broccoli and cauliflower, is chock-full of nutrients and can often be found in your local grocery store. Pick one up, admire it for what it is, and go on and have yourself a meal!

romanesco broccoli