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Why witches use broomsticks to fly:

This mad theory was originally dreamt up in our office around Halloween when someone asked why witches use broomsticks, therefore I created the following explanation...

Ok, to answer the question regarding this rather underused and extremely eco-friendly travel system we need to step away from the flying around the sky part of the witches life and look more closely at the unofficial history of the broom and more importantly, the humble.....dust mite!

The dust mite is not as daft as it may at first appear. Although it's diet may rather be limited it can be sure that any self-respecting mud hut is likely to be full of dust and therefore it has a guaranteed food supply for all of it's life (well for the 12.5 days the average dust mite lives at least).

Although the early brooms were just a bunch of sticks held in the hand rather than the more familiar sticks wrapped around a handle, the dust mites were quick to spot the potential of this as the broom provides both dust to be consumed and a means of transport between piles of dust - dust mite heaven!

Witches were the first to spot dust mites jumping on and off these early brooms and therefore they formalised this arrangement by making a permanent bunch of sticks for this purpose and bringing into existence the broom that we know of today.

Unfortunately for the dust mites, the witches plan for the broom was exactly dust mite friendly as they would discover to their cost. The witches waited until the broom was covered in dust mites all eager to hitch a ride to the next patch of dust and then provide the dust mites with an offer they really couldn't refuse - yellow dust (the purest dust known to dust mites!).

The mites would be promised that if they served the witches for a total of 13 days, they would be provided with this golden dust for the rest of their lives and live in total luxury which of course to a dust mite is absolute heaven.

Firstly however the dust mites would line up on the broom and in a co-ordinated effort would use the power in their back legs to propel the broom forwards. With enough mites pushing the air and the rather steamlined design of the broom handle, the broom would soar into the air with a graceful motion therefore thats how witches fly on broomsticks.

Those of you who have been following this carefully will have realised the slight disadvantage this proposal had to the dust mites and why the witches really did deserve their bad reputation.

For those who haven't spotted it, in paragraph 3 we said the dust mite lives for around 12.5 days but the witches employed them for 13 days therefore preventing any need for payouts on the yellow dust....another reason never to trust a witch!

So, thats why witches use broom sticks! (For the physics people, it's all about surface area of a pile of sticks - mites per inch if you like).

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Last Updated: 19th April 2008