On Monday night, I was minding my own business, suffering through the first part of the Below Deck reunion, when my friend sent me like, 12 Snapchat videos of her broom standing up on its own in her kitchen. Honestly, I didn’t really get the big deal at first, but everyone else in the group chat seemed totally amazed. Soon, the broomstick challenge started popping up everywhere on Twitter and TikTok, and obviously I had to figure out wtf was going on.
The broomstick challenge really isn’t that different from the bottlecap challenge, or the ice bucket challenge, or any of these viral internet video trends—someone started it, and now everyone from celebrities to your little cousin are posting their videos. But this time, there was allegedly some crazy science behind what was going on. As soon as the broomstick challenge videos started going viral, the internet had an explanation for it. According to the hard-hitting non-journalists of Twitter, NASA said that something about the gravitational pull or planetary alignment was allowing the brooms to stand up, and that Monday was the only day of the year when this was possible. Sounds totally legit, right? Yeah, no. Mercury is going into retrograde this weekend, but that’s about all the planets are doing right now.
Turns out, brooms can do this any day of the year—I guess just no one ever noticed before? Thank god we have TikTok now, so these things don’t go unnoticed. There is some science at work here, but it’s just regular old physics. Guess I should have paid attention in high school, because I have no idea how to explain it, but it’s not that crazy. So yeah, if you missed the broomstick challenge yesterday, you should still be able to try it out today, because the gravity isn’t going anywhere.
Hey you wanna hear something wild? That broom balancing thing? You can do it tomorrow. And the day after. And next week. And next month. Because planetary alignment has nothing to do with balancing a broom on its bristles. Stop taking pictures of brooms.
— River (@RiverIcenhour) February 11, 2020
While we’re here, let’s go through some of the best broomstick challenge videos, because I have to admit, these are kind of fun.
My absolute favorite, and probably the most random of all, is Paula Abdul’s take on the broomstick challenge. I basically love Paula’s chaotic energy no matter what she’s doing, and when she knocked over the broom, I f*cking lost it. Paula, never change.
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) February 11, 2020
The award for most extra broomstick challenge goes to this guy, who managed to balance his broom on some piece of warehouse equipment that’s like, 40 feet up in the air. I’ve never been this dedicated to anything in my life, so I have to applaud this effort.
— Russ (@Rosson70) February 11, 2020
Never one to miss a chance for some online clout, Tyler Cameron obviously hopped on the broomstick challenge on his TikTok. I love that he did his in the aisle of a random Duane Reade, but it makes me wonder if he doesn’t have a broom at his home? Tyler, how are you keeping the floors clean? Brb, going to check every Duane Reade in the city until I run into Tyler.
@tylerjcameron3Brooms are standing up for themselves today and we should celebrate that!! #fyp #foryourpage #bippityboppity #bippityboppityboo #broom #broom #bro♬ Originalton – svensven39
While most of the videos from the broomstick challenge are just… broomsticks standing up in the middle of the floor, some people got extra points for creativity. This person on Twitter really went off, with three brooms, a crutch, and a big-ass knife all standing up. Please, if you’re reading this at home, don’t try to balance a knife in your kitchen, because I feel like that’s not going to end well.
Got the broom, a knife and a crutch standing 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/3Mp0rsfqtA
— Giselle Medina (@Gisellemg_) February 11, 2020
But really, I’m tired of talking about brooms, so let’s all take a second to appreciate the work of art that is this piece of chicken, perfectly balanced on a table:
Fuck that broom look at this chicken 🍗🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/THDGiBpJJ9
— SBR (@skinnyboyrob) February 11, 2020
I love art.
If you’re dying to try the broomstick challenge, go for it, but don’t expect your basic video of an old broom to go viral or anything. I have a feeling this challenge is going to disappear in like, three hours, but it was fun while it lasted.
Images: cunaplus / Shutterstock; rivericenhour, paulaabdul, rosson70, gisellemg_, skinnyboyrob / Twitter; tylerjcameron3 / TikTok