Broom challenge

@PaulFox13/Twitter

The #BroomChallenge sweeps social media… again

It really does work.

 

Nahila Bonfiglio

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 11, 2020   Updated on May 19, 2021, 3:50 pm CDT

Social media’s newesst sensation is, well… not so new.

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.

https://twitter.com/mikaiylaaaaa/status/1226959129157259266

Once people caught wind of the challenge, it became a viral sensation. People quickly seized upon the opportunity to test their own brooms.

https://twitter.com/gabiichrisss/status/1227077541602693120

https://twitter.com/_Jazzyguns/status/1227058375587966976

https://twitter.com/SavinTheBees/status/1227086000955904006

https://twitter.com/NatashaMunchies/status/1227087692799922176

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.

https://twitter.com/PaulaAbdul/status/1227105275552747520

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.

https://twitter.com/CaseyjonesVegas/status/1227095695632396290

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.”

We would like to clear up some thing in regards to standing brooms. It’s something going wild on social media. 

Posted by Mid-Michigan NOW on Monday, February 10, 2020

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.

https://twitter.com/therealeyejay/status/1227100450157219840

https://twitter.com/milktpapi/status/1227082768938459147

Hype around the broom challenge continued to spread, prompting memers to also jump on board.

https://twitter.com/Josh_TheBoss2/status/1227101027880591361

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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H/T Complex

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*First Published: Feb 11, 2020, 8:04 am CST