When you think about a time when the answer to the question "Is the Earth really round?" could possibly be in dispute, you probably think back to the Middle Ages. If you were to tell someone back then that the Earth is shaped less like a plank of wood and more like an orange, they'd probably say something like, "Get to Church you blathering, godless heathen!" or "The Earth has been, and always will be, flat!"
That seems like the last time it would be acceptable to think the Earth is flat, right? But somehow, people still believe the Earth is flat.
Roughly 600 years later.
The same year that one can get on a magic screen, visit a store that doesn't even physically exist, click the image of a telescope, have said telescope delivered within an hour, and use that telescope to look at more spherical planets in the sky, just like ours.
But, alas, there are some - like those folks in the Middle Ages - that just aren't buying it.
So, why do people believe in a flat Earth? Click through to find out how shallow the rabbit hole is, and why "flat-Earthers" don't believe you'll end up on the other side.
NASA Is a Hoax
Yup. Sorry, John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and the thousands of scientists around the world (yes, around) who work at NASA - flat-Earthers aren't buying your lies. Mars Rover? Fake. Space travel? Total crock. The moon landing? Never happened.
To the flat-Earth crew, everything under the umbrella of NASA is just part of an elaborate game to keep everyone from knowing the real truth about our world.
There Is a 150-Foot Wall of Ice at the 'Edge'
By now you may be wondering exactly what the structure of the Earth looks like, aside from simply being a flat disc, hurtling through space like a cosmic frisbee. Luckily, flat-Earth folks have the answers: the Earth is actually contained within Antarctica, and Antarctica itself is an entire wall of ice at the very edge of the world.
Sound confusing? Well, that's not the end of it. In fact, to prevent anyone from climbing over the "edge" of the Earth, NASA employs guards at the wall to maintain the conspiracy.
Sort of like the Night's Watch if Jon Snow was completely delusional.
The Earth Is a Plane, Not a Planet
Not only are the Sun and Moon incredibly small according to flat-Earthers, with each being about 32 miles around, but they're actually only about 3,000 miles above us, too. And the stars? They're not too far out, either, clocking in at around 3,100 miles up.
So how does this all add up? Simple: the Earth is the center of the entire universe, and everything is moving around us. Just ask noted flat-Earth expert Eric Dubay, author of The Flat Earth Conspiracy, who claims that time-lapse photography proves it all:
“Star trail time-lapse photography is absolute proof that Earth is the stationary center of the universe around which everything in the sky revolves. If the Earth’s supposed motion was what caused the star trail effect, Earth would have to be performing daily 360 loop-de-loops, inverting upside down, coming back around, and NOT rotating on an axis, otherwise the same stars would not remain visible in the sky for well over 12 hours (as they do), and would all move across the sky horizontally! The fact that we can see the same stars all night long revolving perfect circles around Polaris proves it is the stars moving relative to a fixed [Earth].”
The Horizon Is Perfectly EvenPhoto: NASA/Public Domain
That curve you've seen in NASA's photographs of the horizon? It's a lie. Flat-Earthers subscribe to the notion that NASA takes the "true" images of the flat world and implements a curve in them through digital wizardry.