WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Standing broom fad purportedly by NASA inspired a video that generated over 8 million views and almost 70k retweets in less than a day.
- Trend says brooms can stand upright on Feb. 10 due to the gravitational pull.
- The “standing broom” went viral before with a different scientific explanation: “the planets are aligned”.
“Standing broom” photos or videos have been circulating on social media platforms in the past 24 hours, leaving users to wonder what the heck was going on.
The viral trend claims that NASA said that gravitational pull on Feb. 10 allows brooms to be balanced on its own, a phenomenon that is purportedly otherwise impossible. Information failed to be included in this scientific explanation for the balancing phenomenon includes the origin of this gravitational pull, whether be it from Earth, from the moon, or from something else entirely.
The original “standing broom” video posted on Twitter garnered over 8 million views and almost 70k retweets in less than a day. The reach of the tweet was extensive enough that there was an entire Twitter moment dedicated to the fad after it encouraged countless of users to try and recreate the video themselves.
The simple balancing act gained popularity. Not only is it is not difficult to balance a broom upright, but it has got nothing to do with the “gravitational pull” of anything. The truth of the matter is that you can balance a broom on its head literally any day of the week.
The center of gravity of a broom is low and it lies squarely over its bristles. This means that your broom will stand upright, no matter what day it is, as long as you can get the bristles positioned like a tripod to support the broom handle.
The “standing broom” hoax is not new to 2020 either. In 2012, the trick went viral reported by Wired. Only this time the explanation for the phenomenon has nothing to do with “gravitational pull”, it was because the “planets are aligned”. The trick with the broom is also much older, dating back to the ’90s.
This is not the only time hoaxes as such circulated around the internet. There was a time people were made to believe that Earth’s equinoxes cause egg balancing and that that Coriolis effect determined the direction of water that spirals down the drains and toilets through in different hemispheres.
These aforementioned theories are now a source of entertainment despite having rendered moot. They are, for the most part, harmless but are scientifically inaccurate.