What Is The Broom Challenge Taking Over The Internet?
The #BroomChallenge claims that brooms will only stand upright one day a year -- and even NASA has weighed in.
Whether it be choking down cinnamon or sucking your lips into a shot glass to look like Kylie Jenner, viral challenges have asked us to do some pretty gnarly stuff in the past.
And while the #BroomChallenge isn't technically causing us any physical harm, it is hurting our brains trying to understand how anyone fell for this.
It all began when a Twitter user claimed that according to NASA, "gravitational pull" meant that Monday the 11th of February was the only day all year a broom was able to stand up on its own.
The caption was shared alongside a video of a standalone broom. The video has now garnered more than seven million views.
From there, a trend was born.
The #BroomChallenge saw thousands of people from all around the world try it out for themselves and post their efforts to Twitter and TikTok.
Paula Abdul danced around it.
This guy jumped over it.
All in all, everyone was doing it.
And in doing so, many were reiterating the bold claim that the reason a broom could balance on its own was due to this supposed annual gravitational phenomena.
But NASA has dusted off their myth busting tools and swept this claim aside.
In a seven second video posted to their official Twitter account, NASA has completely debunked the viral stunt.
"Did you do the broomstick challenge yesterday?" asks scientist Sarah Noble. "Well, it turns out, you can do it again today."
Astronaut Alvin Drew then demonstrates, before chiming in with a deadpan quip.
It's just physics.
It's well-known that the Space Administration likes to set records, but this time, they're also setting the record straight.
In a statement regarding the #BroomChallenge, NASA took the opportunity to explain how the stunt "exemplifies how quickly pseudoscience and false claims can go viral."
While this hoax was harmless, it also shows why it's important for all of us to do some fact-checking and research -- including checking in with @NASA and NASA.gov for real science fun facts -- before jumping into the latest viral craze.
Unsurprisingly, the hoax goes to show that not everything on Twitter can be considered factually reliable. We're just grateful to know that it's one of the safer challenges to do the rounds in recent years.
We'd say 'don't try this at home,' but you'd probably be okay if you did. Unless of course you were this person...
Featured Image: Twitter