The Charlie Charlie challenge has hit Nigeria Twitter hard this 2021, as there have been over 158k tweets on the trend alone.
Many want to know why the pencil does spin on its own, they fear it is a demon in charge. We would address that in this post.
The so-called Charlie Charlie Challenge is based on shaky science (the objective is to summon a malignant spirit from beyond the grave), but there are some real and powerful forces behind this parlor game, according to one expert.
There are so many videos of the challenge in the Nigerian Twitter space, as many wonder the mysterious force behind it.
What is the Charlie Charlie challenge – Mythbuster
For a start, the Charlie Charlie challenge is a modern incarnation of the Spanish paper-and-pencil game called Juego de la Lapicera (Pencil Game). The game is meant for teenagers.
The two pencil game involves crossing two pens or pencils to create a grid (with sectors labelled “yes” and “no”) and then asking questions to a “supernatural entity” named “Charlie.” The upper pencil is then expected to rotate to indicate the answer to such questions. The first question everyone asks by speaking into the pencils is “can we play?” or “are you here?” or “are you there?”
Okay…So why do the pencils spin, its Charlie Charlie right?
According to LiveScience, gravity is the top reason the pencil spins, The Independent also points out the heavy breathing of players as another reason the pencil moves.
In order to balance one object on top of another, the topmost object’s center of gravity (a point where an object’s mass is said to be concentrated) must be positioned precisely over the supporting object. In the case of the Charlie Charlie Challenge, players balance two long objects with rounded edges on top of one another. Naturally, these hard-to-balance objects have a tendency to roll around.
“Trying to balance one pencil upon another results in a very unstable system,” said Christopher French, head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at the University of London in the United Kingdom. “Even the slightest [draft] or someone’s breath will cause the top pencil to move.”