The truth behind the 'broom challenge' sweeping the internet

Thousands tried the latest viral trend.
Thousands tried the latest viral trend. Photo credit: Youtube

Sweep the chair challenge under the rug, because the next big internet sensation is here - with a catch.

The 'broom challenge' has taken over the internet in recent days, with people all over the world, from celebrities to students, capturing their brooms standing upright on the bristles, without any support. 

The viral #broomchallenge trend took off after a post hit the Twitter-sphere, claiming February 10 was the only time of year a broom could stand up on its own because of the Earth's current celestial situation resulting in a certain gravitational pull.  

"Nasa said today was the only day a broom can stand up on its own because of the gravitational pull," posted a Twitter user in the US on Monday.

Thousands of posts started sweeping in... before the world tilted obviously.

But bad news kooky theory fans: NASA never put out a statement about the Earth's current state allowing free-standing brooms. 

Instead the space organisation took to Twitter on Febuary 11 to post a video of a broom standing upright, to prove there was nothing special about the earth's gravity. 

"Basic physics works every day of the year - not just February 10th," the tweet read. 

"This is another social media hoax that exemplifies how quickly pseudoscience and false claims can go viral," Karen Northon, from NASA's office of communications, told ABC news.

"While this hoax was harmless, it also shows why it's important for all of us to do some fact-checking and research ... before jumping into the latest viral craze."

If you stood your broom up today, it will work tomorrow, the next day and even next year. 

Because brooms have a low center of gravity (all their weight is closest to the ground) and the handle is practically weight-less, the ability to balance a broom on their bristles is relatively easy. There's nothing new about it, you just need to place it correctly.

Net Safe NZ issued a tweet on Tuesday -  whether related to the broom or not - to remind us to not trust everything you read on the internet.