Feb 11, 2020

Why the 'broom challenge' made no sense at all

"Nasa said today was the only day a broom can stand up on its own because of the gravitational pull," posted a Twitter user in the US on Monday in footage which has been viewed millions of times and emulated by thousands. Freestanding brooms have nothing to do with planetary alignments, the full moon, or gravitational pulls, despite the claims of some social media users. Fact-checking website Snopes says the broom challenge was widely circulated before in February 2012, and is another version of an egg-balancing trick which was attributed to the spring equinox. In a TV broadcast in March 2012, now uploaded to YouTube, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers explained it was possible to balance a broom or an egg at any time of the year not just the spring equinox. As one Twitter user commented: "Your broom is able to stand on its own on any day of the year, and Nasa didn't say today was special regarding that".

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