Friday Deep-Sea Picture: Logarithmic Spiral

The structure of the gastropod shell forms a logarithmic spiral first described by Descartes and later by Bernoulli. Good ol’ Jakob called it the “marvelous sprial” or the Spira mirabilis. Those who believe in crystals also believe the logarithmic spiral is part of the “sacred geometry”. Nothing displays this beautiful coiling in gastropods like x-rays of the shells. Pictures are from here and here. The second link contains several x-rays worth looking at.


Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.