10 Hilarious Theories Believed in by the Flat Earth Society

Conspiracies, fakery and lots of Photoshop: some people still believe the world is flat, and they have the theories to (not) prove it.
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The members of the Flat Earth Society, as you can probably gather from their name, assert the concept of a spherical Earth is ludicrous. Globularists who think the Earth is an oblate spheroid (popular Flat Earth Society terminology for folks backing the round-Earth argument) are simply wrong, having been duped by elaborate cover-ups and conspiracies hidden within complex terminology and falsified concepts by governmental agencies like NASA. The average person just doesn’t understand what they’re being told, so they go along with it.

American rapper (and Flat Earth Society member) B.o.B. has been in the news recently with his crowdfunding efforts to send satellites into space to prove Earth’s flatness. In the campaign’s initial two months, he’s raised $6,800 of a $1 million goal, with some donations having comments attached to them explaining the money is being given so flat-earthers might finally understand they’re wrong.

Going one step further is 61-year-old retired limo driver “Mad” Mike Hughes, who managed to launch himself skyward in a garage-built, $20,000 rocket on March 24, 2018, to back his belief that the words ‘earth’ and ’round’ do not belong in the same sentence. Speaking with the Associated Press, Hughes had this to say about his mission:

“Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is. Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space.”

Using a converted mobile home as a launch platform (really, do we need to specify that it was converted?) Hughes managed to hit a top speed of 563 kilometers an hour (350 miles per hour) and reach a height of 571 meters (1,875 feet). Did Hughes collect enough data during his minutes-long ride to the sky to be able to play the “I told you so!” card afterward? It looks as though all that was proven was that Earth is hard, and plummeting into the Mojave desert strapped inside a cobbled-together rocket with a couple of parachutes to buffer your fall still means you’re going to have a few bruises.

“Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess. I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”

10. Earth looks flat in pictures

It’s hard to argue that Earth doesn’t look a little on the flattish-side when you’ve got a photograph of our planet in front of you. On their own Wiki page, the Flat Earth Society comes right out and says this of pictures illustrating the Earth’s roundness:

In general, we at the Flat Earth Society do not lend much credibility to photographic evidence. It is too easily manipulated and altered.

For the FES, the main culprit for the planet looking round in pictures and videos is something called barrel distortion. This effect can be caused by cameras outfitted with wide angle or zoom lenses “squeezing” images, causing straight lines to appear slightly curved inwards. But what about a basic point and shoot camera that is using no special lens?

“…barrel distortion and other quirks of modern cameras will cause a picture to distort in ways which may not be immediately obvious or apparent, especially without references within the picture.”

Quirks it is then.

Sources:What is Distortion?, The Flat Earth Wiki

9. NASA has it in for religion

Source: Waiting for the Word / Flickr

As its official numbers continue to grow at a rate of approximately 200 new members per year (since 2009), the Flat Earth Society has carefully managed to sidestep bringing religion into its argument. Instead, it’s attempted to stick with its scientific interpretations, however misguided those assessments may be. That doesn’t mean that other believers in the flat Earth theory haven’t been known to lean heavily on what they believe is biblical proof that God never created a spherical Earth. As an extension of that, NASA pushing their own Earth agenda is attacking the premise of God existing.

As ideas that are controversial have been known to do, this concept of God creating one thing a certain way while science declares a very different viewpoint (or reality, as some might argue), has been slightly warped over the ages. Much of this starts with the argument that approximately 500 years ago the Christian church preached Earth was flat — case closed. Specific passages from the bible were cited to back up this reasoning.

Now, this is where how an individual chooses to interpret information comes into play — scholars who are pro-marble Earth state that yes, some things in the bible may allude to Earth being flat. However, 500 years ago those interpretations were being made without the common scientific principles we now have in place, and those biblical references can easily be explained using proven practices. Factor into all of this Andrew Dickson White and John Draper, two turn of the 19th-century atheists who pushed the idea that Christianity wholeheartedly backed the Earth being flat (really, it didn’t). Does NASA hate God because of science? The chances are good that NASA doesn’t have the budget to be hating on anything.

Sources: Does the Bible Teach That the Earth Is Flat?, Is the Earth Flat?

8. Earth isn’t just flat; it’s the creamy center of the Universe

Earth is the luxury condo of our Universe, with a spectacular view of every star and planet within sight of a telescope. “Why wouldn’t it have this front-row lookout, considering our planet is right in the middle of things?” say the flat-earthers. Or not. This is where flat-earthers and the scientific community could come together to agree to disagree since it’s a concept that does have some basis in science — it’s just been applied to the wrong part of the earth/universe equation.

It may appear that Earth is smack-dab in our Universe’s mid-section, but this is when technicalities come into play. It’s the center of our observable universe, but there are at least 15 billion light-years of space around this planet we call home. It could be more. Much, much more. The Cosmological Principle presents the theory that the Universe is a “flat sheet” that keeps going infinitely. Earth being the absolute center of anything in the scenario of an endless Universe would be impossible, but at least flat-earthers can take solace in knowing the something out there is flat.

Sources: Is the Earth at the centre of the Universe?

7. All the other planets are big fakers

Source: NASA

Not just fakers — fakes

The easy answer for some (and we stress some, not all) is that the planets don’t exist. It’s another united conspiracy front created to back the claim of the Earth is a rotating ball. Who has the time, energy and money to carry on the hoax? NASA, the devil of the flat earth world. Science has shown that other planets in our Solar System are spherical, so if those planets were created in the same Solar System as Earth is located, why wouldn’t Earth conform to the same construction plans?

Because those planets, if they do exist, are only discs in space. Those that will admit to other planets existing hesitate to call them planets in the first place, instead attaching themselves to a theory put forth by Nicholas Copernicus in 1543 that planets are actually wandering stars (Copernicus was close, but no cigar).

Unless you’re talking about Mars. For whatever reason, when SpaceX’s Elon Musk uploaded a tweet wondering why there was no Flat Mars Society, @FlatEarthOrg responded:

“Hi Elon, thanks for the question. Unlike the Earth, Mars has been observed to be round. We hope you have a fantastic day!”

Duh.

Sources: We asked two flat-earthers: what about the other planets?

6. The sun has got some serious moves

Forget about Earth rotating around the Sun. In the flat earth world, our Sun is shimmying not just under and over Earth but from side-to-side as well. Anyone watching a sunrise or a sunset is observing an optical illusion. Does that mean David Copperfield can harness the power of this impressive trick of the eye? Of course not — that would be crazy.

For this to happen, flat-earthers explain that both the Sun and Moon rotate around the Earth at a height of approximately 4830 kilometers, or 3000 miles. Both of them are also only 48 kilometers (30 miles) in diameter, which is their offering for why both appear to be the size they are when observed from Earth and why shadows fall the way they do. Much of this is outlined in 1849’s ‘Zetetic Astronomy,’ including the explanation of day and night occurring depending on which end of the flat Earth you’re located on. Light can only travel so far, right?

Sources: Zetetic Cosmogony; Or, Conclusive Evidence that the World is Not a Rotating-revolving-globe, How does the sun move in the flat earth model?

5. Gravity is a no-no

In the big picture of arguments for and against Earth being flat, gravity is a major player. Much of Isaac Newton’s discovery is what science has based how objects interact, not just on Earth, but across the galaxy. When you reach into your pocket for your phone to update your Facebook status and drop it, before you have the chance to say, “Zuckerberg!!!” it has hit the ground. Gravity is what keeps us grounded, and it is why the Moon circles Earth while Earth and every other planet in the neighborhood zip around the Sun.

If the Earth were flat, the way gravity works we would all see things being pulled sideways. On a flattened Earth, we would still be anchored to the ground, but not because gravity is doing its job. Flat-earthers believe we are being held down by the pancaked planet perpetually being forced upwards at a rate 9.8 meters per second squared (32 feet per second squared). What about zero-gravity, and all those video clips of spinning astronauts in orbit? Fake news — all of it.

Sources: What Would Happen if the Earth Were Actually Flat?

4. Antarctica is a big ol’ ice dam

Source: NSF / Josh Landis / Wikimedia

For many flat-earthers, the Arctic Circle is the center of the planet and all of the continents spread out from there. While there are some in the flat-earth camp that think the planet keeps going on and on, most believe that there is a literal edge where the world as we know it physically ends: Antarctica.

In this world where gravity gets to take the day off and the Sun and Moon are pretty darn tiny, Antarctica acts as a 46-meter-high (150 foot) wall of ice. Falling off the edge is bad, in case you hadn’t already come to that conclusion on your own. According to the Flat Earth Society website, the wall of ice theory is the most accepted by its ranks, although some do think Antarctica is only a boring old continent. In both instances, there is still a wall around the sphere that is Earth, and it is speculated that armed NASA guards patrol the wall to ensure no one attempts to climb it.

Sources: Antarctica

3. The horizon is straight as an arrow

If you’ve ever looked at pictures from space, you’ve probably noticed there’s a slight curve to the Earth’s shape. That’s to be expected, since our planet is a great big ball of rock (and other stuff). For the Flat Earth Society, it’s a simple case of calling ’em as you see ’em. Again, via their Twitter account:

The horizon always being eye level proves that our Earth is flat.

When observing an approaching object in the distance, the object in front of you doesn’t pop out of nowhere like a Jack-in-the-Box after one too many handle turns. Instead, it’s a gradual build-up. This all has to do with the Earth not being flat. Flat equals Jack, and that would get really annoying after about five minutes. Where does the curve in pictures from space come from then? One guess. Did you say NASA? Of course you did. Apparently, when NASA isn’t planning missions to the only round planet in existence they’re also teaching Photoshop for beginners.

Sources: Horizon always at Eye Level

2. Satellites have never been to space

What’s the point of having a satellite if you aren’t ever going to use it? It mainly comes down to keeping up appearances, according to flat-earthers who think NASA is full of it. The argument has been presented that the satellites we read about in the news are only that — something we read about, but never actually get to see in action.

It’s a recurring theme for explanations of their beliefs, but once again it comes down to the conspiracy theory angle. No matter how much scientific proof is presented — imagery or video footage of launches (faked), communications logs (faked), pictures from orbit taken by a satellite (Photoshop) — flat-earthers stick to their guns. Satellites are a vital component in the argument for the Earth being round, so they’re a natural target in the fight against the idea.

Sources: Flat Earth: What Fuels the Internet’s Strangest Conspiracy Theory?

1. Long story short: NASA are a bunch of phonies


Getting to space doesn’t come cheap, and it’s a reason why flat-earthers say they’ll never really be able to prove that they’re right. It’s also one of their arguments for why everything we’ve seen in the past and continue to see frequently making headlines today about space exploration has been nothing but lies and hoaxes. But this might be about much more than satellites, space or whether NASA and all the other space agencies on the planet have the time to fake all the junk and garbage that’s been left behind after humankind’s trips to space.

It could just be flat-earthers are folks who are caught up in a conspiracy. A 2014 study showed at half of Americans surveyed believed in at least one conspiracy theory, but unlike most of these debatable cases, Earth being a disc doesn’t offer much for the pro-flat side to argue. Earth not being round would be a conspiracy theory that would span centuries, and involve millions of people. It’s estimated it would’ve taken 400,000 people to fake the original Moon landing — any clue how large the number would need to be to keep this work of fiction under wraps?

Additional sources: Flat Earth Rocket Man Finally Did It

Story by Jay Moon


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