NASA Gravity ‘Standing Broom’ Hoax Takes Over Social Media Worldwide
The broomstick challenge is the latest challenge to take over Twitter. The basic premise is that brooms and other objects can stand upright through a mysterious trick of gravity, but only on certain days of the year.
According to Twitter, the challenge came from NASA, who said that today—February 10, 2020—was the only day a broomstick can stand up on its own because of something to do with gravitational pull.
While a lot less dangerous than previous trends that have gone viral, like the Tide Pod challenge, the scientific reasoning behind it is equally shaky and there is no source from NASA supporting these claims.
Instead, it stems from a longstanding urban myth, or old wives’ tale, claiming that every year on the vernal and autumnal equinox, eggs are able to balance on their ends. The rumor pops up most years, usually around the equinox, in some iteration or another and recently has taken the form of brooms instead of eggs. It has even made an appearance on a 2003 episode of The West Wing.
Okay so NASA said today was the only day a broom can stand up on its own because of the gravitational pull…I didn’t believe it at first but OMG! 😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/M0HCeemyGt
— mk (@mikaiylaaaaa) February 10, 2020
— Ally Brooke (@AllyBrooke) February 11, 2020
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) February 11, 2020
Fun, right? Right.
But the truth is, you can make a broom stand upright today… and tomorrow and the day after… and the day after that.
It has nothing to do with the earth’s gravitational pull on a certain day. It also has nothing to do with the vernal equinox (another day of the year when this “magic” supposedly happens).
Instead, it has everything to do with balance.
The center of gravity is low on a broom, and rests directly over the bristles. Which means, if you can get the bristles positioned like a tripod, your broom will stand upright any day of the year.
While we’re sure NASA is bristling at the idea of people getting the science wrong, it still makes for a fun party trick.
we had to go test it… pic.twitter.com/DNtkOlLRGd
— Dyantá D. Harris (@dyantaatnaydh) February 10, 2020