IF you’ve been on social media in the past 24 hours, you have probably been seeing pictures and videos of brooms across all your newsfeeds.
This was in response to a fake tweet, claiming NASA said February 10, 2020, was the only day a broom could stand upright on its own, thanks to “gravitational pull.”
NASA never said that. Its most recent online posts are about space exploration.
Brooms can stand up any day. And no, it isn't obeah. Here’s why that tweet makes no sense:
Any object that has mass has a gravitational pull. That means you, me, the building you’re in or even your neighbour’s dog has one.
And since it is crediting gravitational pull for this cool party trick, the tweet implies February 10, 2020, was the only day gravity has ever existed on Earth. Or that the gravitational pull that day was different from that on any other day.
The centre of gravity is where the weight of an object is assumed to be concentrated. Brooms have a low centre of gravity. This means they are less likely to fall over without support than many other objects, as their centre of gravity is closer to the ground.
Unfortunately, this hoax has been going on for several years. So if you were fooled or trolled, you were not the only one. And like all challenges, it resulted in some good jokes and memes as well.
But use it as a lesson to fact-check information you see circulating on social media.
And yes, go and try balancing your broom right now.