Fact Check: NASA ‘Broom Challenge’ Is a Viral Hoax

CLAIM: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Monday that brooms could stand by themselves because of the "gravitational pull."
Karim MANJRA via Unsplash

CLAIM: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Monday that brooms could stand by themselves because of the “gravitational pull.”

FALSE: NASA never said that. However, brooms can stand up by themselves if they are balanced right, according to CBS 2.

Monday, a Twitter user posted footage of her broom standing on its own and said that was the only day it would be possible:

“A broom’s center of gravity is low, so if you can get the bristles perfectly positioned, your broom will stand upright today, tomorrow, and every single day,” Click on Detroit reported.

Despite the initial false claim, social media users joined in the fun and shared entertaining photos and videos of the #BroomChallenge.

Monday, photographer Tim Akimoff tweeted a picture of his upright broom standing next to his robotic vacuum cleaner, DEEBOT:

Another Twitter user got creative and took the challenge to the next level, literally:

Monday, people online said NASA originally shared the claim on social media and its website. However, there is no evidence of said posts, according to the Tech Times.

“As also explained by some posts, NASA was cited saying that the Earth’s gravitational pull or the vernal equinox, or even the effect of ‘full moon,’ made the trick possible,” the article read.

So far, NASA has yet to confirm or deny the claims.

The trick is done by placing the broom upright on a smooth, hard floor, according to Kids Science Experiments:

Try to get the broom to stand all by itself by making slight movements back and forwards with the handle. You may want to pick the broom up and place it back on the floor several times trying to adjust the balance and weight on the bristles equally. This can take several attempts and lots of patience. You may even want to try using a different broom if you find it a real struggle to get it to become balanced.

“The trick is to get the balance just right, which is called the center of gravity, and the broom will stand by itself,” the site concluded.

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