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 (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”.


54 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


  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 😀

  28. Gus Hibbonith says:

    haha the cabbage one ! is quite cool!

  29. Roger Warren says:


  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:

    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.


  32. 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.

  33. Louise says:

    That’s great Debbie! 🙂

  34. Jerry Lameyer says:

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

  35. 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!

  36. […] Spirals in Nature | Original Beauty – Jun 27, 2009 · Beautiful photos of spirals found in nature – encoded into plants, animals, humans, the earth and galaxies around us…. […]

  37. […] Spirals in Nature | Original Beauty – Jun 27, 2009 · Beautiful photos of spirals found in nature – encoded into plants, animals, humans, the earth and galaxies around us…. […]

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  39. […] 这种花纹乍一看会感觉像某棵植物。植物中出线螺线的情况确实很多,还有个术语叫“叶序”(Phyllotaxis)。一定叶序的形成是有机制的。一定机制产生螺旋的情况在大自然中很常见,这篇博客还有更多的例子。 […]

  40. Laura says:

    Thank you. I started from a 2 year old looking at snails and decided to take it further with the children I childmind. These pictures are beautiful and helping me explain the spirals presence throughout nature. Off for a snail hunt now…

  41. Sharon McNelley says:

    Sharon Mcnelley
    I love the whirlpool. It is a wonder on how they are made in the ocean. They can be very danger to ships and small boats.

  42. […] 옆에 떠있는 밝은 달 그리고 배경의 별 빛과 함께 그려진 거대한 녹색 나선을 그리고 있다. 여기서 괴물은 오로라를 만들어낸 전하를 띠고 있는 […]

  43. […] la belleza pero teme a la bestia. La belleza es la aurora, que aquí toma la forma de una gran espiral verde entre nubes vistosas, la Luna a un lado y las estrellas en el fondo. La bestia es la ola de […]

  44. […] beauty but fear the beast. The beauty is the aurora overhead, here taking the form of great green spiral, seen between picturesque clouds with the bright Moon to the side and stars in the background. The […]

  45. […] máis o medo da besta. A beleza é a aurora no alto, collendo aquí a forma dunha gran espiral verde, ollándose entre nubes pintorescas coa Lúa brillante a unha beira e as estrelas no […]

  46. […] ‘bela’ é a aurora nos céus, aqui tomando a forma de uma grande espiral, verde, observada entre nuvens pitorescas além da Lua brilhante e das estrelas no plano de […]

  47. […] beauty is the aurora overhead, here taking the form of great green spiral, seen between picturesque clouds with the bright Moon to the side and stars in the […]

  48. […] ‘bela’ é a aurora nos céus, aqui tomando a forma de uma grande espiral verde, observada entre nuvens pitorescas além da Lua brilhante e das estrelas no plano de […]

  49. […] 冰岛断层上空的极光 冰岛断层上空的极光: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN, Earth and Stars)说明: 欣赏美景之余,也要畏惧后头的猛兽。此处的美景是天空中的螺旋状泛绿极光;这团镶在美丽云层之间的极光,侧边拱着明月,后头衬著繁星。猛兽则是一波波造成极光的带电粒子,或许某一天,它们会重创人类文明。1859年的同一星期,在发生了遍及全球的显著极光活动之后,太阳闪焰触发一个日冕物质抛射,而所释出的带电粒子脉冲撞击地球磁层的力道极端猛烈,形成了卡林顿事件。(此事件如此强烈的部分原因,)可能是先前的一次日冕物质抛射,已经在太阳与地球之间清出一条相对直接的通道。不过可确定的是:卡林顿事件造成地球磁场剧烈压缩,在电报线上诱发出强大的电流,不仅使许多电报线喷出火花,也让报务员受到电击。如果卡林顿等级的事件发生在当今的话,猜测会造成全球电网和电子设备空前规模的灾害。这幅主题影像是在上星期摄于冰岛的Thingvallavatn湖;此湖泊座落在分隔地球欧亚板块与北美洲板块的断层上。(太阳闪焰=太阳耀斑; Carrington Event 卡林顿事件) […]

  50. Kaylee Kaznosky says:

    Thank you so much. This information helped me a lot as a student with my calculus project. Thorougly great examples of spirals. Wonderful job!

  51. […] Sie die Bestie. Die Schönheit ist das Polarlicht oben, hier in Form einer großen, grünen Spirale, die zwischen pittoresken Wolken mit dem hellen Mond auf der Seite und Sternen im Hintergrund zu […]

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