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This might sound a bit, well, out there, but there is a growing movement of people who believe the earth isn’t a beautiful blue ball, but a flat blue disc, with edges you can fall off of. When surveyed 2% of Americans believe the Earth is flat, that’s about 6.5 million people, so can they all be wrong?
They are called flat-earthers and are quite devoted to spreading their beliefs. They have been dubbed flat earthers by those who are the non-believers – ie those who trust in the more universally accepted belief that the earth is round. There are a few different schools of thought concerning the flat earth theory as well as many different potential leaders referring to themselves as revolutionaries. Before diving in, let’s cover the three most popular theories around the shape of the Earth:
-Round Earth Theory – spheroid
-Flat Earth Theory – Disc
-Alternate Earth Theory – Dome
Round Earth Theory
Round Earth theory is what everyone has been taught since the time of Aristotle around 350 BC. Aristotle used physical evidence such as observing a ship disappearing over the horizon, focusing on the curvature of the horizon, and the change in the constellations. Pythagoras was the person who first supposedly proposed that the earth was spherical. Then there was Eratosthenes. He used mathematics to support his theories. When discussing the earth’s shape and such, one cannot help but think of Nicolaus Copernicus, who’s heliocentric model says the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. (Geocentric model) his findings were published in 1543.
Just a bit of historic background before getting into those who believe in a completely, to some, absurd viewpoint. However absurd one may think it is to have a flat earth, there are some compelling points which deserve some attention. Most you could say fall into the realm of a conspiracy theory, but are they wrong, there are plenty of reported unexplained phenomena that make us think WTF!
Flat Earth Theory
Here’s a video from NatGeoTv. What if as most people believe that the earth being round is just an illusion?
Flat earth believers bring to light things such as lack of physical proof stating that there are no “real” pictures of the earth. (besides the ones from NASA which cannot be trusted according to flat earth believers) The moon landing was faked in a studio. This is one of their arguments as to why NASA cannot and should not be trusted regarding the release of any earth photos. They also say that a boat will not disappear into the horizon and one can see the boat in its original shape if a telescope is used. Gravity is only a theory which suggests that there is no such thing, nor any need for it since earth is flat. When viewing the earth in NASA’s time-lapse videos of earth’s rotation, there are no cloud mutations. Clouds are ever-changing and are morphing constantly. Therefore, clouds in a video of earth should also be changing constantly especially in a time-lapsed video. Also, they argue, when asking a person if they believe the earth is round or flat and the person responds “I believe the earth is round”, a flat-earther would say “If the earth is scientifically round why the need for belief; it should just BE.”
Now, these quotes are just approximations as to the type of question and answers they give. Math Boylan is an example of an extreme flat earth believer. He believes that the earth is, in fact, flat, but past the north and south poles, there is more land that the world governments are hiding from the public. He also talks about Antarctica and how there are no recorded residents there which must mean there is something to hide since the only way to get to Antarctica is if a person is a specially skilled scientist or in the military.
Dome Earth Theory
We had to bring you this one, is this proof there’s a dome over the Earth?
An alternate flat earth theory is the Dome Earth Theory. This is the belief that there is a type of transparent, glass-like dome covering a flat earth. Believers of this theory suggest the dome has been there longer than life itself and possibly something of much greater intelligence may have been responsible for it. This theory is the least popular, but still, it is a belief of some and deserves to be brought up when the topic is questioning the earth’s shape.
Granted, some points these flat-earthers make are interesting. They certainly get you thinking. So do you believe what Aristotle has taught us or are you a flat earther? do you believe that we live on a flat Earth covered by a dome balancing on the back of four elephants, standing on the back of a giant turtle? Sorry, I couldn’t resist that Terry Pratchett Discworld description. What do you think, are they mad or are we?