In kind of funny but also oh-God-why news, former NBA basketball player and scientist-in-training Shaquille O’Neal has claimed Earth is flat. How does he know this? Because it seems flat when he drives from coast to coast. We really hope he was joking.
Shaq made the comments on a show called The Big Podcast (please don't read the comments there), which he co-hosts, back in February that has just been released. Below is a genuine, verbatim quote of what he said:
“I drive from coast to coast, and this shit is flat to me. I’m just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat.”
When one of his co-hosts noted we had satellite imagery of Earth pointing out that Earth was, indeed, round, he responded: “Oh satellite imagery? That could be [a] drone or made up.”
And to cement his views, he added: “I’m just saying that when I drive from Florida to New York – flat. New York to Seattle – flat. Seattle to LA – flat.”
So what shape does Shaq think Earth is? Why, the future Nobel Prize winner proudly declared “it’s a square”.
Here's the audio of the actual genuine comments
Sadly, Shaq is not alone in this belief. His comments were in reply to similar musings from current Cleveland Cavaliers’ player Kyrie Irving, who said last month: “This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat.” Oh, he also thinks he has the power to have an out-of-body experience when he dreams.
The flat Earth claim was also backed by Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green, who said: “I’m not saying I think it’s flat or round. I don’t know but it could be.”
There’s also Denver Nuggets player Wilson Chandler, who tweeted: “I agree with him [Kyrie].”
Oh and let’s not forget rapper B.o.B., who last year got into an infamous tussle with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson when he spouted some bizarre comments about Earth being flat.
Why, why, why do these people believe Earth is flat? Who knows. A failing of the educational system? Maybe. Growing mistrust of “experts”? Possibly. A really terrible joke? God, I hope so.
Just in case you did think Earth was flat, here’s some information on why it’s not.
At least Trump hasn’t outed himself as a flat-Earther yet too, considering the other science he refuses to believe. We’ll let you know if there’s any update.