The #BroomChallenge, as it has been dubbed online, has actually cropped up before. Nearly every year, in fact, someone makes a claim about the equinox or the Earth’s gravitational pull somehow affecting the way a broom works. The challenge has incentivized people all over the web to post videos of their brooms mysteriously remaining upright without assistance. Except, as it turns out, this has nothing to do with NASA or the Earth’s shifting pull—it’s just how brooms are made.
The challenge appeared to start with a video posted Monday afternoon. “Okay so NASA said today was the only day a broom can stand up on its own because of the gravitational pull,” Twitter user @mikaiylaaaaa wrote. “I didn’t believe it at first but OMG!”
It was a viral gimmick and an old one at that, and there is nothing special about Feb. 10 that results in your broom standing upright.
Once people caught wind of the challenge, it became a viral sensation. People quickly seized upon the opportunity to test their own brooms.
As the challenge became more popular, even celebrities got in on it. From celebs like Paula Abdul and DJ Khaled to teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, everyone jumped on the broom challenge this week.
Unsurprisingly, the challenge quickly morphed to involve more than just brooms. Soon, people online were posting videos of everything from pants and Roombas to chicken wings standing all on their own.
Forget the broom. pic.twitter.com/B68Suh498Q— (✿◠‿◠) (@korenarebecca) February 11, 2020
i dont got a broom but yoo this shit is crazy lmaoooo pic.twitter.com/FMUjsLkPEh— marty mcfly williams (@ugl__y) February 11, 2020
Yaw broom sticks are cute but I- pic.twitter.com/CCqI9rf8mF— ⛽️IG:BagDadLean⛽️ (@MLKChefLean) February 11, 2020
The reasoning behind our brooms’ unexpected ability actually boils down to simple gravity, as explained by Mid-Michigan NOW’s evening meteorologist Ahmad Bajjey. “This is something that’s been going around for a long time,” Bajjey said in a video. “It’s either something that has to do with an equinox or something or the planets being aligned.”
Bajjey noted that the success of the challenge is largely based on the kind of broom you choose. Some, with flat bottoms, are far more likely to succeed than those with rounded bottoms. “The issue with the broom is its center of gravity is very low,” Bajjey continued. “The weight is all the way down here. So it doesn’t take that much for it to actually stay in one place.”
This means the challenge didn’t work for everyone. If your broom isn’t shaped right or if its bristles are at an angle, your attempt at the broom challenge will likely fail. Thankfully, even the failures were shared online.
Hype around the broom challenge continued to spread, prompting memers to also jump on board.
This #broomchallenge bout to have some bitches holding a broom for the first time in years.— Erica (@Ericvgee) February 11, 2020
Just because the challenge has been debunked doesn’t mean it likely won’t crop up again. In a few years, someone will make a claim about the Earth’s gravity or Mercury’s atmospheric pull and people will be all over the #BroomChallenge yet again.
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