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Egg Balancing Day

  1. May 18, 2005 #1
    I met a woman a few months ago who told me that when she was a kid her father used to get up in the middle of the night on "Egg Balancing Day" which only happened twice a year, and balance a carton's worth of eggs around the kitchen for her and her siblings to discover in the morning when they woke up. He told them this was only possible twice a year because of something to do with how the planets lined up: it reduced the earth's gravity enough to make this possible.

    Apparently this is a tenacious myth. The first link below quotes a newspaper seriously reporting that "Egg Balancing Day" was coming up, and the second link gives the anecdotal account of a presumed skeptic who tries, but does not succeed in balancing an egg except on egg balancing day:

    "In March of 1998 my friend sent me a newspaper clipping from the Springfield (OH) News-Sun (March 21, 1998) which showed an egg balanced on end.* The caption read
    `An egg balances over the Pittsfield, Mass., skyline Friday. The balancing act is repeatable only on the vernal and autumnal equinox, when the sun crosses the equator, making night and day equal on all parts of the earth. Friday marked the first day of spring.'
    Address:http://www.phy.cmich.edu/people/osborn/egg1.html Changed:6:45 AM on Saturday, March 26, 2005

    "Obviously, the Science Explains All Front is working overtime to quell the "myth" about balancing eggs on the equinox, especially the vernal (spring) equinox, which happens to occur on March 20 this year, at 8:46 pm (EST). Yet the "myth" persists. There's something inside us that wants to believe that there are forces we don't understand, and that magic really does exist. So we're all ears when somebody tells us that the equinox is when the earth and nature are completely in balance, when day and night are equal, and that for just a moment the rules of science don't apply. We want to believe in the possibilities.
    As for me, all I can offer is personal anecdotal evidence. I've tried for I don't know how long to pull off this particular trick, to no avail. Until September 23, 1998, that is. I stayed up past midnight to try yet again, and as the exact moment of the autumnal equinox neared (12:37 am CDT), my egg miraculously began to try to balance. And about two minutes before the equinox, success! My egg, raw and cool, was standing tall and proud. It didn't stand long, but I was able to get a photo for evidence."
    Astronomy - Egg Balancing Day
    Address:http://djkelley.home.mindspring.com/EggBalancing.htm Changed:11:27 AM on Saturday, February 10, 2001
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2005 #2

  4. May 18, 2005 #3


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    A good mean to balance the egg in any day of the year is to give it a sharp push down and stopping it very fast. Inertia makes the yolk go down making the center of gravity lower and easing the balancing of the egg.
  5. May 18, 2005 #4
    You mean like going through the motions of throwing it on the ground without actually letting it go? Sounds like a possibility.

    chief, that history was interesting. Thanks for hunting that up.
  6. May 20, 2005 #5


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    It's exactly what I was meaning.
  7. Jun 15, 2005 #6


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