How Geckos Use Molecular Physics to Climb Walls

Laura Klivans of the KQED series Deep Look explains how geckos climb walls using molecular physics rather than suction cups on their feet. Their feet, instead, are lined with ridges and hairs known as spatulae, which work together to create a phenomenon known as Van der Waal’s Force.

No suction cups, no Velcro, no glue. Geckos navigate nearly any surface with something far cooler: an electron dance at the atomic scale.