Unless you’re a mathematician or a cashier, math might not always be on your mind. But there is one magic number that should be . . . if you’d like a deeper understanding of this experience we know as “reality.”
This magic number is known as the Golden Ratio. It is written as the Greek letter phi = 1.6180339887 . . . and it keeps on showing up not only around you, but even inside you.
Two numbers are in the golden ratio when their ratio to each other is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two numbers.
Here’s the mathematical explanation, if you’re interested:
The golden ratio can be found by dividing a line into two sections so that the longer section divided by the shorter section is also equal to the whole length of the line divided by the longer section.
This ratio is related to the Fibonacci sequence, where the next number is found by adding the two numbers that come before it. For example: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on.
If you take any two successive Fibonacci numbers, their ratio is very close to the golden ratio. The larger the numbers, the closer their ratio is to 1.618.
Okay, so math aside, here’s what’s so special about this number…
The Golden Ratio Around the World
The Golden Ratio has an ubiquitous presence throughout the world’s history.
Many ancient structures seem to have been built with the Golden Ratio in mind.
For example, in the Great Pyramid of Giza, each side has a base measurement of 756 feet and a height of 481 feet. The ratio of the base to the height is roughly 1.57, which is very close to the golden ratio.
Also, many believe that the Parthenon in Athens, Greece was designed according to the golden ratio. The Ancient Greeks believed that structures that followed this ratio were more pleasing to the eye. The ratio of the height of the structure to its width is 1:1.618. Coincidence? I think not.
Apart from in history, one of the most surprising things about the Golden Ratio is how often it can be seen in nature.
For example, many plants grow in a pattern that perfectly displays the Golden Ratio.
The pattern of seeds on the face of a sunflower follows the Fibonacci sequence. Each seed sits at a certain angle from its neighboring seeds to create a spiral pattern.
In order for the sunflower to pack the most seeds, this angle has to be the most irrational number possible. That just so happens to be the Golden Ratio, whose corresponding angle (golden angle) is 137.5 degrees. This is the angle that creates the spiral pattern on a sunflower.
This Golden Ratio spiral pattern can also be seen on pinecones, pineapples, and many other plants.
The Fibonacci sequence can also be seen in the way that a tree splits into different branches. A main trunk will grow until it produces a new branch, which creates two separate growth points. Then, one of the new stems branches into two, while the other one remains dormant. This pattern is repeated for every new stem.
The Golden Ratio in Humans
Remember how I said the Golden Ratio can even be found within us. Well here’s how . . .
DNA molecules, in which all of the physical features of all living things are stored, consist of two intertwined helices.
The curve of each of these helices measures 34 angstroms long by 21 angstroms wide for each full cycle of its double helix spiral. These numbers, 34 and 21, are numbers in the Fibonacci series, and their ratio is 1.6190476 which is extremely close to the Golden Ratio of 1.618.
There are also many occurrences of the Golden Ratio in the structure of our bodies.
If you’re like most people, the ratio of your forearm to your hand is equivalent to the Golden Ratio, as is the ratio of the length from your navel to the floor and the top of your head to your navel.
If you take the time to look and measure, you will find examples of the Golden Ratio all around you.
So what does all of this mean?
We’ve just scratched the surface of all of the different ways that the Golden Ratio can be seen in our world.
The ubiquitous nature of this magic number could help to explain that there is more to our reality than meets the eye, and that a high power or consciousness exists. The golden ratio appears to be a universal law or “blueprint” for what we see around us.
What are your thoughts on the recurrence of the golden ratio? What have you found in nature that exemplifies this pattern? Share with us in the comments below!