Most bacteria are very agile creatures that can easily move about on both liquid and solid surfaces. This ability gives them a great advantage in the molecular world.

With tiny appendages called flagella (you can see these in the picture; the spindly “legs coming from the bacteria) that give it its motility (ability to move through liquid and solid surfaces) the majority of bacteria can quickly make it to their food.

These flagella are attached to the bacteria through a object called a basal body in the cell membrane. This basal body acts like a motor that takes its energy from the membrane and transfers it to the flagella, which then takes the shape of a turbine-like propeller.

This amazing propeller, when turning counterclockwise, sends the bacteria off in a straight line toward whatever it is heading to or away from. When it reverses and turns its flagellum clockwise it heads in the opposite direction.

Bacteria use their ability to maneuver to escape from danger or repulsive elements or race to appealing food!