Balancing an Egg During a Lunar Eclipse: Old Wives Tale?

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Last week’s lunar eclipse provided us with some unexpected entertainment here at The Laughing Cabin. The eclipse began on Friday around 5:30 p.m., but it was hidden from our view behind a mountain. We set up our telescope on an upper deck in the hopes of getting a good look at the eclipse – as well as a comet that was traveling across the southern horizon. By the time the moon peered over the mountain, there wasn’t much to see. The trees and a hazy fog blocked the view of the comet, so we contented ourselves by taking in the night air and watching the now-full moon continue to rise. The fog gave the moon a buttery glow, and I could not help but notice how the tree branches reached out to encircle it an embrace. It was a picture perfect moment.

Hubby had disappeared into the kitchen, and a few minutes later, he called for me to take a look at something he was doing. To my astonishment, he had somehow managed to get an uncooked egg, still in its shell, to stand on its end on the counter top. Nothing was holding it up!

 

 

When I asked him how he knew how to do what looked like the best magic trick I had ever seen, Hubby explained that a lunar eclipse had occurred when he was a young boy, and his mother had brought out some eggs and taught him. She explained that, according to an old wives tale, eggs could only be made to stand like this during a lunar eclipse.

While I was listening to this story and standing there in wide-eyed wonder, Hubby was able to get a second egg to stand on its end… then another! THREE eggs were now standing! He invited me to try, so I reached into the carton and pulled out an egg. Within seconds, my egg was standing, too! I was so amazed!

One egg toppled over, and then another, but we were able to get them back up again. Each time a new egg was added to the group, I took a picture – until we finally got to a total of six standing eggs. We attempted to get the entire carton of 12 eggs to stand, but six was all we could manage after 30 minutes of trying.

 

 

The eclipse had ended by this time, and our eggs grew tired of standing. This made us believe there was some truth to the old wives tale. It wasn’t until the next day that I did some research on the internet and learned that lunar eclipses have nothing to do with it. It seems that eggs can be made to stand any day of the year.

The reason that many people have come to believe that it takes a lunar eclipse for an egg to stand is because they only attempt it during the eclipse. The myth has been reinforced and perpetuated because of this. Most of us would never attempt this on any other day of the year because logic tells us that an elliptical shaped object isn’t going to balance. So when you try this for the first time during a lunar eclipse, it seems very magical.

Out of curiosity, I tried balancing the very same eggs the next morning, and guess what? I could not get any of them to stand!  Coincidence? It makes me wonder. Old wives tale or not, finding out that uncooked eggs can be balanced while in their shells is such a fascinating discovery. I am SO glad I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

Until next time!

 

 

P.S. Spending the time to see how many eggs we could balance was SO entertaining. I could see doing this as a fun and educational family time with children or grandchildren. Give it a try — and have your camera ready!

 

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