Stiff as a broom: Standing household items are not mysterious

Regina man sees broom defy gravity, stand on its own

When one Regina man’s broomstick stood straight up by the bristles for 45 minutes without any support this week, he felt there must be some advanced force at work.

Lately, it is actually a common phenomenon. People have gone to the Internet, posting pictures of their brooms standing with no support.

Deis felt this may have been caused by a solar flare, which is an opinion shared by others.

Tip: Fortean Times

I’m going to call shenanigans on this one. I can make a broom or paintbrush stand up on its own without problem either. It’s common because, if the bristles are even and rigid, they provide enough support to remain standing.

As the professor in the story states, I hope the witness is not saying the broom ROSE and STOOD on its own. An electrical charge that would do that would have fried a lot of systems worldwide and made not only your broom stand up! It reminds me of the standing egg phenomenon explained here.

So, we have a situation where a curious observation is not really anomalous but we imply a special causal agent. It’s just a correlation, not a cause. And, it has nothing to do with the causal agent at all. It’s just the norm. Nothing mysterious here.