By Phil Plait | September 22, 2009 12:00 pm

Today, at 21:18 UTC, the autumnal equinox occurs, when, according to legend, chickens can lay eggs standing on their heads.

Anyway, if you want to learn about this not-so-special time of year, read this post from the vernal equinox six months ago. And don’t forget to try to stand your chickens!


Comments (34)

  1. Thanks for reminding me that I need to add my sister to my spam filter for today. ūüėČ

  2. bigjohn756

    I stood on my chicken. All it did was squawk. Oh, well, at least I know what’s for dinner tonight.

  3. Justin Higinbotham

    Awesome – I’ll keep an eye on my three hens (Sadie, Fiona and Amelie) to see if they lay their eggs upright for once…

  4. TS

    if only I had a penny for every time BA writes a post about equinox . :-)

  5. I stood an egg on end a couple weeks ago, just to be contrary.

  6. Orestes

    It would be quite amazing to see chickens standing on their heads, laying eggs…….

  7. Charles Boyer

    All I know is that the Suck that is winter is coming.

  8. I can’t stand chickens. It doesn’t matter what day it is.

  9. Kevin

    Aha – thank you. I shall have an omelette for dinner. I was going to put out chicken (which also would have been appropriate) but I forgot to get it out of the fridge.

    I just need to get some salsa on my way home from work.

  10. Dan I.

    Anyone know what the offset for Universal Time is for the EDT timezone? Is UT just GMT?

  11. !AstralProjectile

    I wish I had a few ounces of sturgeon eggs to stand on toast points.

  12. Charlie Young

    Too bad it’s not like this on any given equinox:



  13. Knurl

    @9. Dan I. Says:
    September 22nd, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Anyone know what the offset for Universal Time is for the EDT timezone? Is UT just GMT?

    UT, which is also called Coordinated Universal Time and often referred to as UTC, is the same as GMT. Eastern Daylight Saving Time is UTC minus 4 hours.

    Here’s the National Institute of Standards and Technologies official time page:
    www time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java

  14. Tom Woolf

    …you just keep f%$^$6 that chicken!…

  15. I tried to stand an egg on end during a solstice. I suddenly found myself in this parallel universe to my own. I’ve been trying to get back to my own universe, but everytime I try to stand antoher egg on end, the doorbell rings and there’s a couple of men in black suits at my door.

  16. SleepNeed

    Don’t forget that cooked chicken can lay hard boiled eggs today as well Phil!

  17. Kim

    What if I don’t want to stand chickens on end? Is it required that I do so? And what of the chicken’s feelings about standing on its head, did we ask how it feels about this?

  18. Mike

    Oh it is a special time of year indeed. It’s one of those magical days where you can dance naked around a bonfire and nobody will judge you.

  19. MadScientist

    I’ve never seen an egg stand on a chicken’s head.

    I won’t know if it’s equinox; I can’t tell if the sun is up.

  20. Tortorific

    In Australia we start the seasons arbitrarily, 1st December is the first day of summer, 1st September is Spring, 1st June winter and 1st March is Autumn. It’s too hot in Australia to have a proper argument so we just pick the easiest solution and go to the beach.

  21. I'd rather be fishin'

    “so we just pick the easiest solution and go to the beach.”

    What? no beer, BBQ or Sheilas? Oz has changed a lot since I was last there…

  22. Davros

    today In Sydney(Austraila) we can not see the sun for the huge dust Cloud that is covering every thing
    Very surreal to have a blood red Air this morning
    and no sun


    Can we blame the equinox

    hoping for some cool pictures from space of the dust Storm

  23. Boo hoo hoo! :'( You just reminded me that in six weeks I will only be getting sunshine between 7:00 and 4:00. Now I’m depressed.

    Thanks Phil.

  24. Cairnos

    @ 16 Mike:

    Oh yeah? You just try doing that once in a public library and you’ll never hear the end of it! ūüėČ

  25. JB of Brisbane

    Phil missed the obvious heading for this blogpost, unless he’s used it before… EGGQUINOX!
    And yes, the dust storm has reached Brisbane now.

  26. Hey! Everyone on earth gets the same length day today.

    I like don’t like that the sunlight will be less but I do like the upcoming big winter waves!

  27. We have most of our visibility back in Sydney now. The dust is probably on its way to make the New Zealand glaciers a pretty pink colour.
    Click my name to see some photos I took this morning of the Sydney dust storm. I slept through the spectacular red part earlier but I did get the yellowish reddish dirty smokey brown.

  28. SionH

    For any non-UK types who might be wondering; the Greenwich in Greenwich Mean Time is pronounced ‘Grennij’, not Green Witch.

  29. Ho, hum. Everyone knows you can stand an egg on its end at the equinox.

    But, how many of you have tried standing an egg on its side during the solstice? (It works! I’ve seen it! And I almost did it a couple of times myself!)

  30. coryy

    My chickens like to stand on MY head….especially when i’m leaning over into the can of chicken feed to scoop them out some!
    They have already decided there’s not enough daylight to lay eggs, though. Bummer. I’d like to see upside down nests!

  31. Why does the porridgebird lay its egg in the air?

  32. BlueNumber2

    And here I thought this post was going to be about the Styx album from 1975…


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