I love weird stuff and I also love people who believe in it.
Whilst stumbling around cyberspace the other week, I stumbled across a particular favourite of mine, a bunch of conspiracy theorists who share an absurd belief.
I am talking about the Flat Earth Society, a group of seemingly eloquent people who truly believe that we all live on a planet that is similar to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
To them, our beloved planet is not a sphere; it is a disk.
To them the Earth is flat.
Given all of the evidence to the contrary, they still maintain in this modern day and age, with all of the advances in space travel, physics and astronomy that the governments of the world are uniting against the population of the world to hide the truth that we live on a giant frisbee.
Here’s what they believe:
The Earth is a disk with the North Pole at its centre.
Antarctica is in fact a wall of ice that surrounds the edge of the disk, keeping the oceans in.
Space travel is fake. The USSR and USA were so obsessed with winning the space race during the cold that they faked their accomplishments to deceive the other into believing that they were ahead.
Photographic evidence of a globular Earth is also fake. NASA is an institute whose sole purpose is to prolong the myth of a Round Earth.
Circumnavigation of the Earth is performed by going around the North Pole in big circles.
The sun moves in circles around the North Pole. When the sun is over your head, it is daytime. When it is not over your head, it is night time.
You cannot see the curvature of the Earth from an aircraft. Your perception of a curved Earth is due to your perception through heavily curved aircraft windows.
Gravity as we know it does not exist.
The sun and the moon are simply rotating spheres, each 32 miles across that can be found 3000 miles above the surface of the flat Earth.
The concept of a Full Moon is impossible in the Round Earth theory.
Earth is not a planet and the other planets are small.
The stars also rotate above the Earth.
The moon landing was a hoax. Astronauts shown moving on the moon in slow motion were on wire supports.
Here is a picture of what they believe the Earth looks like:
This is amazing and if you take a look at any of the Flat Earth Society websites, they have supposedly scientific evidence to back all of their claims. However, what I find even more amazing is that people actually believe this utter nonsense.
I simply cannot comprehend how, or even why, people choose to ignore reality and shift their belief system to an incredible wild idea that took hold of humanity before the great scientists in our history proved it wrong.
I can understand people in the past believing that the Earth was flat, because they didn’t know any better. However, nowadays, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support their outrageous claims. On the contrary, there is plenty of evidence to support the Round Earth theory.
Why are these people so delusional?
Why choose to champion a ridiculous lie?
Their theories are totally ridiculous, even laughable. It seems to be that when anybody tries to debunk their weird theory, they simply invent something that explains why you are wrong. An example of this is that if the Earth were indeed flat then at the edges of the disk, gravity would be totally different and approaching the edge would make gravity more pronounced. In fact, the Earth is so big that gravity would pull the Earth into a ball shape. Their answer to this is amazing, as we have seen; gravity simply does not exist or more accurately, it doesn't exist in the way that we have been led to believe.
So all of those science experiments I performed in A-Level Physics to determine the acceleration due to gravity are totally false and pointless?
It's worse, when you consider that Flat Earth conspiracy theorists claim that we are all being kept in the dark about this. What they are saying is that every government in the world is lying to us all in an attempt to cover up this preposterous notion. I know that politicians are all liars but this concept is absurd. As well as that, anybody who is involved in the airline industry must be in on it.
Imagine for a second training to become a pilot. You are taken into a room and forced to sign the equivalent of the official secrets act before a man stands in front of you and says:
“Before you start training, we must inform you that the Earth is not a globe. It is a giant spinning pancake. You mustn’t tell anybody as we are trying to keep it secret. If you do, we will fly you past the Antarctic wall and kick you out into oblivion.”
Imagine your first day in the Oval Office after being sworn in as President of the USA:
PRESIDENT: Right – now I’m President, I want to know all about Roswell. Do aliens actually exist?
PRESIDENT'S AIDE: Sir, aliens do not exist. In fact, the Earth is not even a planet; it is a giant frisbee surrounded by a huge wall of ice. The sun and moon are disks rotating 3000 miles above us.
PRESIDENT: No – really. Do aliens exist?
PRESIDENT'S AIDE: : No sir! And the Earth really IS flat. We’ve been conning the public for years. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin won honorary and secret Oscars for their parts in the greatest work of fiction known to man; The Moon Landing.
-- PHONE RINGS --
PRESIDENT'S AIDE: Hello? Sir, it’s President Putin wishing to congratulate you.
PRESIDENT: Hello Vladimir.
PRESIDENT PUTIN: Zdravstvujtye, Mr President and congratulations. By the way, have you been told that the Earth is really flat yet? We need to keep this quiet.
It makes no sense to me whatsoever, that supposedly intelligent people continue to defy all the scientific evidence and embarrass themselves by relating this bunkum to anybody who is willing to listen.
Why would you anybody do that?
Even if it’s a question of pride and being scared to admit that they are wrong, surely that’s better than being a laughing stock.
Anyway, here is a fun video about it:
I’m sure when Terry Pratchett came up with the concept of Discworld, he did so after reading, and presumably laughing at, a book about the Flat Earth Society.
Of course, writing a post mocking the concept of a Flat Earth might prove to be a stupid thing to do if Flat Earth conspiracy theorists are right. I may end up with a lot of egg on my face and might have to write another post of apology.
These are the risks that a blogger has to wrestle with.
I don’t care; I’ll take my chances.
That said, as I wrote at the start of this post, I love this kind of weirdness, so if on the off chance you believe that the Earth is flat, please let me know.