The Grapevine

Standing Broom Challenge: Rare Science Or Not?

If you’ve lived long enough (and we mean, really long enough), then you may have already seen something like this happen before in the past.

But if not, then you may have noticed that in the last few days, social media has been flooded with a new internet phenomenon called the “broom challenge.” The gist is pretty simple: You take a broom, place it on the floor standing and leave it right there balanced all by itself. Sounds impossible? Well, it is. Or at least, it was. This is because the claims from the posts say that on that specific day, the axis of our own planet is just precisely right that our gravitational field would actually let you balance a broom on its bristles on its own.

And when it worked, it really did work. It looked great too. It’s not something you see everyday after all, making it borderline magical and amazing.

With that in mind, however, while it does seem very cool, experts said that it’s not actually rare and only counts as pretty common science.

“#1 Your Broom will do this any day of the year. It has to do with the shape of the bottom, not the Earth.
#2 The Tilt of the earth is always ~23.5° it never changes during the year. The orbit of the Earth around the sun causes Seasons.
#3 Social media makes us do silly stuff,” Brad Panovich, who’s a chief meteorologist, tweeted.

This is because the axis of the Earth is always at a 23.5° angle, so there is actually no point in time. Furthermore, the planet tilting its angle would not affect its sense of gravity at all, nor would it affect how gravity takes hold of objects. In fact, if that is the case, we’d all be in deep trouble already.

So no, it’s not rare science. And according to Panovich, it all depends on the shape of your cleaning equipment. But if you do manage to do it and take photographic evidence to post on the internet, then feel free to do so. After all, we never said that it’s not cool. Because it actually really is.

broom-4762980_1920 The broom challenge consists of making a broomstick stand on its own. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)