Spirals in Nature

The visual motif of the spiral is one of the oldest and most enigmatic sacred images known.  It is one of the earliest examples of human creative expression, appearing in nearly every  society in the ancient world.  The spiral has universal appeal and has a mysterious resonance with the human spirit, it is complex yet simple, intriguing and beautiful.  The spiral pattern is found extensively in nature – encoded into plants, animals, humans, the earth and galaxies around us.  Mathematics can explain the complex algorithms, sequences and equations that make up a spiral pattern, but it can’t explain the lure and fascination of the spiral to the human heart.  Here are some beautiful examples of spirals from the natural world.  Click on all photo’s for a link to the original site – Enjoy!

Sunflower Spiral

Sunflower Spiral (www.ratemyscreensaver.com)

Millipede Spiral

Millipede Spiral (www.magickcanoe.com/millipede/narceus-spiral-sm.jpg)

Vine Tendrils

Vine Tendrils (wikimedia.org)

Goat with Spiral Horns

Goat with Spiral Horns (www.bukisa.com/articles)

Nautilus Shell with Logarithmic Spiral

Nautilus Shell with Logarithmic Spiral (wikipedia nautilus logarithmic spiral)

The Nautlius Shell is a beautiful natural spiral.  You can find more on the Nautilus at my previous post on Fractals in Nature.  If you like sea shell spirals, find more great spiral examples on Xahlee’s site.

Garden Snail Spiral shell

Garden Snail Spiral shell (xahlee.org/xamsi_calku/snail/snail.html)

Whirlpool

Whirlpool (www.unoriginal.co.ok/gallerymisc58.html)

Spirogyra - green algae under the microscope

Spirogyra - green algae under the microscope (photo:Jan Parmentier http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk)

Romanesco brassica

Romanesco brassica (wikipedia)

Red Cabbage, compound spiral

Red Cabbage, compound spiral (photo: Ian Alexander http://www.easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~iany)

Cactus - succulent spirals

Cactus - succulent spirals (wikipedia)

Fern Spiral - archimedes pattern

Fern Spiral - archimedes pattern (by lopolis on Flickr)

Human Fingerprint - whorl

Human Fingerprint - whorl (at http://www.ridgesandfurrows.com)

From a tiny baby to the massive expanse of universe, spirals are all around us.  They link us all – me to you, you to nature, and us to the greater universe.   Maybe that’s the intrigue – the symbol that joins humans, animals, plants, earth, galaxies and beyond.  Incredible.

Human hair, double crown.

Human hair, double crown.

Spiral Galaxy

Spiral Galaxy (at European Space Agency http://www.sci.esa/int/science-e/)

If you’d like to leave a comment, scroll to the top of the post and click on “add a comment”.

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38 thoughts on “Spirals in Nature

  1. ady warner says:

    Your site has been a great inspiration and the knowledge gained has gotten me past the obstacle blocking my way.

  2. Liz says:

    Now, when life is spiralling, I will think of you and your web – and understand the beauty of God’s purpose in my life better. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. tonton says:

    spiral life”’,,, you didn’t mention and as well without pictures……….

  4. Michael Mark says:

    Part of the fascination may be that the spiral is also one of the primordial flow patterns for energy in our universe, from smallest to largest. Here is a link to sprial patterns of subatomic particles in a bubble chamber: http://is.gd/547SQ.

    The great artist-genius Walter Russell even produced a periodic table of the elements organized like a spiral. http://is.gd/5481s

    And Austrian naturalist Viktor Schauberger wrote extensively of the important of the spiral form to water’s health and vitality. http://is.gd/5485c

  5. Kailyn says:

    Pretty neat!

  6. Steve says:

    Good job! These pictures are astonishing.

  7. Joy says:

    The spirals are quite fascinating….especially the sunflower!!!

  8. shivraj says:

    your imagination about comparison is excllent.The pictures looks very nice.

  9. Hawk Ptooey says:

    Fibonacci and the Golden Spiral

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number

  10. steve says:

    Very nice, this shows our Fathers finger in all of His creation. you can also include the ocean wave and if you curl your index finger to you thumb you get a nice spiral.

  11. Toni La Puma says:

    Lovely collection. Thank you.

  12. leo biko says:

    thanks for the inspiring page

  13. Jewels says:

    I think time itself is best portrayed as a spiral, not a line; perhaps a helix would be more precise… just think about it: it all began once(movement, at some point)-each one of the 24-hours in a day, each day of the week, each month in each year, each one of the four seasons- and it is still carrying on… and when it ends, at the same time, time begins… I think the spiral is the most beautiful pattern in nature; the pattern of time.

  14. I love this!! I put it on my Pink Spiral art page ( I’m slightly obsessed with spirals)because the photos are so inspiring but it’s great see others loving the incredible spiral too.. universe, energy, evolution etc :)))
    Thank you.

  15. Bruce Dillon says:

    How can I share this to my facebook page? Please & thank you.
    (‘;’)

  16. lizzy says:

    i love it! this is so cool i’m learning this in art and i use stuff like spider webs and flowers and there were examples like shells

  17. originalbeauty says:

    That’s great Lizzy – good luck with your studies. Once you open your eyes to these you’ll start to see them everywhere!

  18. Alka says:

    Wonderful pictures from various dimensions of nature. Thankyou for them.

  19. Alka says:

    I would love to show them on face book, guide me how….

  20. Ropon says:

    These are great examples of spirals on nature.
    I love these. Thanx for sharing.

  21. [...] to a blog about ‘Spirals in Nature’ which I think describes well the themes and things I ponder [...]

  22. Toshi Hoo says:

    great post! I’m working on a short film where we talk about spirals. wanted to see if you would let me borrow your description to use in my script. let me know how you feel about it. thanks!

  23. Wonderful selection of examples!

  24. [...] mosaic images via: Top Left; Top Right; Left Middle Row; Centre; Bottom Left; Bottom Centre; Bottom [...]

  25. I like all the pictures but especially the goat.

  26. penelope says:

    haha the goat one is cute! :)

  27. Meggy says:

    wow those are amazing pictures :D

  28. Gus Hibbonith says:

    haha the cabbage one ! is quite cool!

  29. Roger Warren says:

    Amazing!!!

  30. [...] some more beautiful spiral imagery, check out Original Beauty, a wonderful blog with inspiring photos. Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first [...]

  31. Firasz says:

    Hi,
    I’m intrigued by the inspiring info on this post. Worthwhile going through, and commendable.

    Thinking of natural spiral shapes, I could only relate to 2-3 in an instant, but you came up with a whopping 18 of them and really interesting ones.

    Regards,
    Firas

    http://firaszphotography.wordpress.com

  32. subhadip says:

    wonderful selection of exaple…

  33. Debbie Meservey says:

    Been reading the book “Swirl by Swirl, Spirals in Nature” by Sidman and Krommes to my 1st – 4th grade students and then showing them the photos on this blog. Thank you.

  34. Louise says:

    That’s great Debbie! :)

  35. Jerry Lameyer says:

    Thank God for the wonderful design, creation and sustaining of His universe.

  36. Dennis says:

    Believe it or not there is evidence that our solar system is constructed in a spiral (helical) rather than the “flat model” we have always been taught! DNA is also helical! One design, one creator!

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