Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Spiral-shaped flow is optimal: bull kelp


spirals / Dina Saleh / LicenseCopyright - All Rights Reserved

Stipes of bull kelp manage turbulence, allowing optimized flow by flexing into a logarithmic spiral.

Spiraling nautilus shells, swaying kelp, and skin pores all share a fundamental spiral geometry. This same spiral moves fluids more efficiently than the rotors and impellers humans have been designing for centuries. The pervasive logarithmic spiral pattern found throughout the natural world is an optimal flow form, allowing fluids to travel as fast as possible without transitioning from a laminar to turbulent flow. (Courtesy of the Biomimicry Guild)
About the inspiring organism
Med_171074187_a41335001e_o Bull kelp
Nereocystis luetkeana (Mertens) Postels & Ruprecht
Common names: Seatron, bull kelp

Habitat(s): Marine Coastal/Supratidal
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: AlgaeBase
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Pumps, fans, impellers, mixers, turbines, heat exchangers, ducts, and propellers that are quieter and more efficient, requiring less power and producing less heat to run.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Manufacturing, energy, electronics, construction


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over 6 years ago
Thanks Sherry, I will be passed this on and hope to share with many in my programs (eventual). Perfect and addresses the very problem I was having -how to show math as the basis for structures.
over 6 years ago
Here's a beautiful video called Nature by Numbers: A Short Movie Inspired by Numbers, Geometry and Nature by Cristobal Vila:
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