What is the Broom Challenge that everyone’s doing on the internet right now?
‘I didn’t believe it at first but OMG’
Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse with people on social media doing stupid trends for little reason (think dipping balls in soy sauce), our timelines are suddenly inundated with pictures of brooms – that’s right, Twitter users are back at it again, and this time it’s the Broom Challenge. You may rightly have some questions. What is the Broom Challenge? Why are there brooms standing up across the globe in 2020? Is it something to do with NASA and the gravitational pull? Why am I reading this article? Don’t worry, we’ll try and make it quick.
Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about why people are doing the Broom Challenge, and whether it’s actually scientifically true.
How did the standing Broom Challenge start?
As most silly trends on the internet do, this pretty much came out of nowhere on Twitter. Originating in 2012, people started balancing their brooms and claiming it was down to a number of things, including that certain planets were correctly aligned or that the planet’s axis had changed.
Okay so NASA said today was the only day a broom can stand up on its own because of the gravitational pull…I didn’t believe it at first but OMG! 😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/M0HCeemyGt
— mk (@mikaiylaaaaa) February 10, 2020
Unfortunately, you may not be surprised to learn that the scientific explanation behind the latest 2020 rendition of the challenge is just as ambiguous. The tweet that started the 2o2o version of this stupidity puts this strange occurrence down to NASA claiming that today was the only day that a broom could stand up because of “the gravitational pull”.
Could they come up with anything a little more creative? At least there’s a few funny tweets that have come out of it:
Brooms after midnight:#broomchallenge
— 3RIAN (@_3RIAN) February 11, 2020
— Russ (@Rosson70) February 11, 2020
Got the broom, a knife and a crutch standing 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/3Mp0rsfqtA
— Giselle Medina (@Gisellemg_) February 11, 2020
no one at all:
— ➳ (@plutoricky) February 11, 2020
"Nasa said today's the only day yall can do the #broomchallenge due to the gravitational force"
— Phi Nguyen (@itsphinguyen) February 11, 2020
So is there any truth behind the standing broom?
As you can probably guess by now, no, this challenge is complete bullshit. It relies solely on either how easy a broom is to balance, or how good the person is at balancing it. The taking of the photo and its eventual upload are only to ensure you become the latest insufferable person to frequent your poor followers’ feeds.
If you’re looking for a more scientific explanation, you’re going to be disappointed because there isn’t one. That’s right, there’s no unexpected gravitational force around the earth currently that causes this phenomenon. As the tweet below rightly outlines, the earth is at a constant tilt and never changes:
#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. 😊 pic.twitter.com/dqm04IFwPp
— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) February 11, 2020
Does anyone even care to question how every broom in these videos is practically exactly the same design? Surely everyone has tried to balance their broom/spade/golf club at some point when holding it, and surely you’ve noticed that some items are easier to balance than others?
So NASA said brooms can stand on their own today due to the gravitational pull but this pointer broom ain’t here for it. pic.twitter.com/2WNUgk0Dyh
— Kadeem 🇬🇾 not kareem or akeem (@gkadeem) February 11, 2020
The NASA Twitter page is yet to comment, which is either a necessary move to ensure that it doesn’t lower itself to this juvenile trend or a missed opportunity. It’s hard to tell which.
Regardless, it’s painful that one need only come up with a false statement with unsubstantiated “NASA approved” evidence on social media to start a huge global trend. It is quite literally scientifically satisfactory enough for Twitter people to justify a balancing broom with “the gravitational pull”. We didn’t believe in fake news until #broomchallenge came along 😡😡😡