Hurricane Sandy's Fibonacci golden spiral

Jim Leftwich says:

I'd seen one of these that had been done for Hurricane Irene going around, that a lot of people probably thought was Hurricane Sandy. I created this one from a NASA satellite image (distributed by NOAA) from Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 1745zulu (6:45pm EDST).

I posted it to my Tumblr, and it's a bit downscaled from my original (3000 x 2400). The satellite photo is public domain and I've given my poster of it a CC license.

Hurricane Sandy's Fibonacci golden spiral


  1. Cool picture, but it doesn’t fit. It’s a spiral, just not a fibonacci spiral. The right side misses inside, the  left side misses outside, and the center could be anything.

    1. That’s pretty much what I thought when I saw this. How far off from a golden spiral could you make the spiral and still have it look like it “fits”? I played with it briefly in Inkscape and found I could make all kinds of unrelated spirals that looked more or less like they fit, though I don’t know how its parameters correspond to the golden ratio.

    2. And yet it still manages to be more of a Fibonacci spiral than most supposed examples.  People like to claim all sorts of things adhere to the golden ratio, but they almost never actually do.  Usually they’re not even remotely close.

    1. The best, man.  My 8th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Takhar, would say, “I’m on a natural high.  Best kind of high there is.”

  2. skeptoid did a “not everything is the golden ratio” including the famous nautilus shell example I always think of. 

    1. The Fibonacci Everywhere fallacy, along with Santa Claus and Common Human Decency are all ‘scientifically dis-proven myths i still believe in because their awesome’

  3. OK, In this particular case, regardless of photos from space, or GPS, the whole Sandy thing will conform to the “Golden Ratio”.  It’s not really an idea or belief, it’s reality.  If you watch stuff happen for long enough, you see patterns.  Unfortunately, as a species, we are selected as pattern seeking mammals.  Not great, but OK.

    The problem here is : are we pattern spotting or is it a spiral?
    It’s a spiral.  They have properties.  One of the properties of spirals is that they conform to the Golden Ratio.  It’s just basic physics.

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