Fact Check

Does 'Gravitational Pull' Allow Brooms to Stand on End on Certain Days?

Whether it's an egg or a #broomtrick, the real explanation is far less exciting.

Published Feb. 11, 2020

 (YouTube screen capture / CNN)
Image Via YouTube screen capture / CNN
A special astronomical property allows brooms to be stood on end during particular days of the year.

In recent years the long-running myth about the equinox being a day possessed of a special property which allows eggs to be balanced on their ends has grown to encompass brooms as well. And the broom-balancing myth has likewise grown to encompass days other than the equinox on which — according to NASA, supposedly — "gravitational pull" and/or a "planetary alignment" creates just the right conditions for brooms to stand on their ends unsupported:

As with the egg-balancing myth, this broom-standing phenomenon has nothing to do with equinoxes or planetary alignments. With some practice and patience, anyone can make a broom (or an egg) stand on its end any day of the year.

As explained in this video, a broom typically has a low center of gravity positioned just above the bristles. So if you stand a broom on end and spread the bristles just right, you can form a tripod-like structure which will hold up the broom:



Mikkelson, David.   "Egg Balancing on the Equinox."     Snopes.com.   17 March 1999.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.