Vernal Equinox 2014 Day: Broom Stand, Balancing an Egg ‘Planetary Alignment’ are Myths

March 20, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Two long-running myths about the first day of Spring–the vernal equinox, which is Thursday–are that one can balance a eggs on end or that one can balance a broomstick on end.

A number of people on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday posted brooms standing on end, as well as eggs standing upright.

“As you can see in the photo taken by yours truly above, I managed to reproduce the effect with great success. That broom really is standing on end. But here’s the thing: it’s a trick, not the result of any spooky celestial phenomenon,” writes David Emery, who specializes in debunking hoaxes and urban legends, on About.com

He adds: “For one thing, the spring equinox, which occurs on March 20, has nothing to do with it. Neither does any planetary alignment. About a week ago Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury were all lined up together in the night sky, as it happens, but astronomers say such events have a negligible effect on earthly objects. The same brooms standing on end today will stand on end a week from now, a month from now, or six months and two-and-a-half-weeks from now. You just have to know the trick.”

One can easily balance a broom on its bristles quite easily, and one just needs a flat-bottomed broom–angled or straight–with stiff bristles. Lay the broom flat on the bristles and if it doesn’t stick, then one should push it down.

The other myth is that one can easily balance raw eggs on end during the first day of Spring. If you want to balance eggs on one end, it can easily be done on any day of the year–one just needs eggs of the right shape and some patience.

Just like the broom myth, there isn’t a scientific way that the axis of Earth on Spring could help balance an egg/