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Entertain Your Children Outside with a Mystery!

I’ve posted before here about The Golden Angle, the mysterious 137.5 degree angle that appears in nature and, and my students’ explorations with finding it outside here and here. Recently, I was showing someone about the Golden Angle and how amazing it was in nature. This prompted me to see if I could find it in other places besides an oak tree leaf and grass. Well guess what?! I did. Taking time for a tiny nature walk collection in my yard yielded some more amazement!

With most leaves, I found that lining one side of my angletron tool up to the stem allowed the other side to hit the first vein in the leaf.

Fig tree leaf immediately below:

Shrub leaves below:

Notice how the branches separate at the 137.5 degree angle below.

Nut grass, as my mom calls it, is below. I’ve notices the regular lawn grass grows this way, too when it goes to seed.

I love intriguing math mysteries, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Not long after I started plucking leaves out of my yard, I noticed a mathy friend of mine posted something on social media about the number 137. Strangley enough, this number is a really big deal to physicists and called the fine-structure constant! Who knew?!

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