Why, oh why, would anyone believe that the Earth is flat? For one reason or another, the flat-Earth movement has witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years (or at least a meteoric rise in publicity).
After wading through blog posts and hours of mind-numbing YouTube videos, we thought we would help you understand some of the arguments that a small number of Earthlings use to justify their belief in a flat-Earth – and why they are desperately wrong.
The Horizon Is Not Curved
The spirit level never lies, according to some. Prominent flat-Earther and rapper B.o.B regularly cites the horizon’s flatness as the main piece of evidence to plant doubt into the minds of the spherical-planet sheeple. In a since-deleted tweet, he showed a photograph of himself on a hill overlooking a built-up area with the caption: "The cities in the background are approx. 16 miles apart... where is the curve? please explain this.” He’s even got a song called “Flatline” about the issue. Get it? Flat. Line. Horizon.
This idea seems to forget that the Earth has an average diameter of 12,742 kilometers (7,918 miles). In other words, it's very, very big. Imagine an ant sitting on a bumpy, moss-covered ball that’s 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) in diameter – it wouldn’t be able to make out many curves. Just take a look at the images in the gallery below.
In theory, you should be able to discern a slight curve in the horizon from an airplane at over 10,600 meters (35,000 feet), although you’d need a fairly wide field of view (as in, not a tiny airplane window). However, there are other ways to clearly detect the curvature without the aid of NASA, ESA, or any governmental space agency. Physics students from the University of Leicester in the UK captured some awesome images of the Earth's stratosphere and curvature simply by using a high-altitude weather balloon.
Nobody Has Crossed The Wall Of Antarctica. Ever.
Some factions of flat-Earthers claim that Antarctica is a giant icy wall designed to keep us from falling off our disc-shaped world. Or, knowing what those sneaky NWO governments are like, to prevent us from finding out the hard truth that we don’t live on a globe. To back up this theory, they claim that no one has ever crossed the whole continent.
However, people have crossed Antartica. Many, many times. There is even the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility, which is the furthest inland part of Antarctica (although its exact location is always up for debate). Here, you’ll find a radio shack, a tiny abandoned Soviet research lab, and a bust of ol’ Vladimir Lenin.