Problematic Sunflower - Numberphile

Uploaded by numberphile on 29.07.2012


A few months ago, I was joined here in my backyard by Dr.
James Grime, and he was planting a sunflower
here in this pot.
It was all part of a big national project, and I'll put
some information in the link under the video.
But now, I'm pleased to reveal the sunflower.
Grown up, no thanks to me, I have to say.
But we are having a bit of a problem.
You see, we've been counting the seeds here in the head.
It's all to do with Fibonacci numbers.
I'm sure you've all heard it before.
And we did one count, and we came up with 34 spirals.
And that's a Fibonacci number.
That's what we were expecting.
But when we counted the other way, we keep coming up with 54
spirals, and not 55.
It should be 55, because that's the Fibonacci number.
It is really hard counting seeds in the head of a flower.
And maybe we're doing it wrong.
So I'm actually asking some of you guys to go and have a look
into our count for us to see what you think.
I'm going to put a nice, big, detailed picture of that on my
blog and on Flickr.
And I'll put links under the video.
So go and have a look, do a bit of a count, and
see what you think.
Is this not a Fibonacci sunflower?
Or are we just a bit rubbish at counting the spirals?
Get in touch.
See what you reckon.