Weird Nature
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Ways To Prove The Earth Is Round Without Leaving Earth

Updated October 15, 2018 64.2k views11 items

Recently, some celebrities have put forward the (wrong) idea that the earth is flat. Not only does this make basically no sense, but there is also overwhelming evidence that the earth is round! Some of this evidence consists of pictures taken from space, individuals who have actually orbited the earth, and even some wealthy people who have taken flights around the world. Of course, some people need to see things in order to believe them, so is it impossible for these kinds of folks to actually get proof the earth is round?

Nope! As it turns out, there are plenty of ways to go about debunking flat-earth theories right here on our own planet. Some of these things you can do in your backyard, and some might need a little more cash. However, all these things can be done without going into space, and should help show nay-sayers once and for all that our planet is a globe.

Okay, proving the earth isn't flat might not be possible when it comes to some flat-earthers, but these are still some interesting things to try for yourself! After all, not everybody can be an astronaut.

  • Take A Long Distance Flight

    Photo: PWalter2009 / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Although the vast majority of us cannot afford to go to space, some of us may be able to afford the next best thing: an around the world flight. There are a few planes out there that can actually make fully global flights, and this alone would prove that the earth is round. You can start in one airport, fly a basically straight line, end up in that same airport, and never fall off "the edge."

    More than that, however, it can allow you to at least see the curvature of the world. If you go for long-distance flights, like trans-Atlantic flights, you are more likely to get a good look at the horizon from very high up, without much visual interference. In doing this, you will see that the horizon is curved! This curvature of the horizon allows you to literally see that the world is, in fact, round.

  • Build Your Own Weather Balloon

    Photo: NASA Goddard Photo and Video / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    You may wonder why it is that we can't see this curve from down here on the ground, and that's because we're honestly too close! The best way to fix this is to get a little perspective, and you can do that with a weather balloon.

    This might take quite a bit of money, but you could also offer to help out with any local colleges or programs setting up such a project, if you don't want to shell out all the cash yourself. Weather balloons often go up far higher than any airplane, and are able to carry cameras with them to film the earth from the outer parts of the atmosphere. Nowadays, with our current technology, you may not even have to track down the weather balloon after it comes down in order to get the footage! Instead, simply watch the video or check out the photos of the horizon as the balloon goes up. The higher it gets, the more you will see the curve of the earth.

  • Check Out Some Other Planets

    Photo: Hubble Space Telescope / ESA / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Looking at other planets can help you to prove that the earth is a sphere in a few ways. For one thing, observing planets like Jupiter through a powerful telescope, you'll be able to see that they are round, and also that they are rotating! If the other planets in our solar system are round and spinning, what would make us any different?

    On top of that, other planets and bodies have allowed us the opportunity to take photographs of our own planet. By looking at these photos, we can see that our planet is round, and a sphere. Just like stars, as well, planets are only observable in the sky to certain areas at certain times. This again shows that the earth cannot possibly be flat, or we'd all be able see Mars and Jupiter during the same exact night, regardless of where we are.

  • Watch Your Shadow Grow And Shrink

    Photo: amslerPIX / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Our shadows change a lot over the day, getting smaller and shorter as the sun moves. But on top of that, objects in different areas will cast different shadows! If the world was flat, it would not matter where those two objects were, they would have the same shadows, because the incoming sun rays would be considered parallel. You can test this in your back yard, as long as you also have a friend a few miles away who wants to try it with you. 

    When the sun is shining, place a stick upright in your yard, and measure it's shadow. At the same time, ask a friend to use a stick of the same size, and measure its shadow where they are. You will find that the shadow lengths are going to be different, even if the pair of you are only 10 miles away! this only happens because the earth is a sphere, and the sun is hitting the sticks differently because you are at different places on the globe.