The Fibonacci Sequence in Pop Culture: Movies Edition

1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21

If this sequence means nothing to you, then you need to read our previous blog: Fun facts about the Fibonacci Sequence. In a nutshell, this sequence is a progression in which each new number in the sequence is the sum of the two numbers before it. Yet if like most of our digital marketing team, you are innately allergic to mathematics, there are many films involving numerical principles that not only make the topic more bearable, but enjoyable. Here are but a few examples of the Fibonacci Sequence in film.


1. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

13 – 3 – 2 – 21 – 1 – 1 – 8 – 5

O, Draconian devil!
Oh, lame saint!

And those are some of the Fibonacci numbers, albeit jumbled up in sequence, left scrawled in invisible ink on the floor of the Louvre and as part of the clues left behind by Jacques Sauniere – murdered curator with a passion for secret codes.

At once controversial yet highly compelling, the Da Vinci Code is once of the best known examples of the Fibonacci Sequence in film. Harvard University Professor Robert Langdon is initially baffled by the message but soon figures out that the words are anagrams for “Leonardo da Vinci” and “the Mona Lisa.” But the numbers? Although they puzzle Langdon – whose specialty is religious symbology – cryptographer Sophie Neveu recognises the Fibonacci sequence and realises that it forms part of a message, sending the duo on an exciting and dangerous adventure of puzzles and false leads.


2. Pi (1998)

Both the Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio feature prominently in Darren Aronofsky’s directorial debut and independent film Pi. Mathematical prodigy Max Cohen, who suffers from psychological delusions of paranoia, becomes increasingly obsessive about math being “the language of nature”, and ends up looking for patterns of it everywhere.


3. 21 (2008)

The Fibonacci numbers make a brief appearance in this story that follows a math professor and six of his students who he trains to become experts in card counting and covert signalling to increase their probability of winning in Blackjack, eventually raking in millions at casinos. The first seven numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are drawn in icing on Ben Campbell’s 21st birthday cake, as the next number after 13 would be 21, which could be a reference to his age or Blackjack.


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