Today, a group of researchers from New York have found that the spherical sulfur oxidizing bacteria - Thivulum majus group up together and form crystals to swim.

Group swimming for these proteobacteria can reach speeds of up to 615 micrometers a second! Look out collegiate rowing teams. These bacteria typically survive in marshes and whip their flagella violently to propel their tiny membranes through the environment.

Click the link below for a short six second video.

http://physics.aps.org/assets/ac6edbf…

The bacteria also spin as they transverse their aquatic environment, this video was taken on a glass microscope slide where you can almost image each cell covered with hundreds of flagella lashing around.

I recognize that the title is misleading, however when the cells bump into each other they tend to congregate and form hexagonal shapes which is a strange phenomenon. Researchers theorize that this happens due to the higher amount of dissolved oxygen around the bacteria, vortex like activity of the cells pumping in water and displacing water with their flagella as well as their spherical shape. This may be why it seems similar to electromagnetic attraction between atoms in a crystal lattice structure.

Sometimes its strange how life and physics interact, for many of us enjoying Spring weather, you might also notice certain gymnosperm seed casings which look an awful lot like an insect wing. They are also really fun to watch fall to the ground as they spin in a desi-helicopter fashion.

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