Have you heard that you can make a broom stand up because…I don’t know…gravity or spring equinox or solar storms or something? Well, it’s crap. It’s a hoax for gullible people who don’t understand science.
Here’s the rumor: According to Facebook, you can balance a broom or an egg on its end because of the spring equinox. Or the solar storm. Or how the planets are lined up. Or how the earth’s axis is this week. The “science” of it isn’t really explained. Because the earth’s gravity doesn’t change like that, people!
It’s not true, in the case of the broom or the egg. Both can be done anytime with some practice. There’s no magic, no change in gravitational pull, no anything.
Here’s a pretty good explanation from Allison Ford:
Any broom will stand up on its bristled end, as long as you can find its center of gravity. Making it happen isn’t even as difficult as it looks, since the thick plastic or corn bristles used on most brooms are sturdy enough to bear weight, and the added weight of the handle actually causes the bristles to spread out a little, creating an even more stable base. All brooms are subject to this same gravitational force—even brooms with off-center handles or slanted bristles, as long as they distribute weight evenly.
Wired also says balancing a broom is so easy because finding its’ center of gravity is simple. They also state that the alignment of planets couldn’t have anything to do with how a broom is balanced.
Joe Ross, professor of astronomy and physics at Texas A&M University, tells a local paper that if the gravitational force were changed enough to make a broom stand up, gravity would be changed so much we would all be floating.
Dr. Bradley Schaefer of LSU further debunks the hoax, stating it’s an old wives’ tale and “the equinox has absolutely nothing to do with” the science of balance.
In years past, Snopes has debunked the egg and equinox myth, saying it can happen any day of the year with the right egg and practice. Since people aren’t trying the feat on other days, they don’t realize it can be done all year long. The same goes for the broom.
So there you have it: Professors, scientists and mythbusters agree. The “balancing a broom” or “balancing an egg” thing is a myth that’s been going on for years that can be explained very simply. It’s not solar storms, solar flares, the vernal (spring) equinox, the alignment of planets, the moon, a change in gravitational pull or some other “magic” explanation . It’s all about balance and center of gravity.
Post this story as your status update or as a comment on the picture from any friend that is gullible enough to believe it. Chances are, they’ll still say it’s real, proving their gullibility and disbelief of common scientific principles.