It Looks Like A Regular Sculpture. But Once It Starts Spinning I’m Completely Hypnotized!

These 3D sculptures are not only works of art they are also optical illusions when they are spun under a strobe light.  They were designed by Stanford University professor John Edmark who, with help from his students, create and print 3D sculptures based on mathematical equations.  Specifically, they used the Fibonacci Sequence, a series of numbers where the next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 , 21…..).

The placement of the appendages on the sculpture is based off of that sequence and that is what gives it the seemingly perfect shape.  This sequence is used in computer algorithms, searches, and graphs.  It can also be found in nature and shows up in the pattern where branches grow on trees, as well as in pinecones and sunflowers.

When the sculpture is rotated at a certain speed and synchronized with the strobe light, so that every time the sculpture turn 137.5 degrees one flash occurs, it appears animated.  The sculptures look like they are turning, spiraling, and metamorphosing into different shapes and things.  If you were to count the number of spirals on any of the sculptures it would always end up being Fibonacci numbers.

While all the math, speed, and light calculations make this artwork all the more interesting, don’t worry if you still don’t quite understand it (you are not alone  ).  It is awesome to look at and blends science, math, and art perfectly.  Check it out and prepare to be hypnotized.

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