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What Makes These Sculptures Look So Perfect?

These unique 3-D sculptures, called blooms, appear to animate when spun under a strobe light. Filmmaker Charlie Nordstrom replaced the strobe light with a camera and a fast shutter speed of 1/4000 sec to achieve a similar effect. The rotation speed of 550 RPMs is synchronized to the camera's frame rate of 24 fps. One frame of video is captured every time the bloom turns approximately 137.5 degrees—the golden angle, which occurs in organic forms like pinecones and sunflowers. To replicate nature's effect, each petal on the 3-D sculpture is placed at a unique distance from the bloom’s top-center. If you follow what appears to be a single petal as it makes its way down the form, what you're actually seeing is all the petals on the bloom in the order of their respective distances from the top-center. This is achieved by incorporating Fibonacci’s sequence into the sculpture’s design. These numbers have close ties to the Divine Proportion, also known as the golden ratio, which is found in art, architecture, nature, and the human body.

See more from artist and designer John Edmark, who created the 3-D sculptures.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.