Despite the many, many photographs of the Earth taken from space and all the other evidence we have that the Earth is a globe (because it categorically is), there are people out there who just aren't convinced.
When presented with these photographs, flat-Earthers tend to believe that they are photoshopped by NASA for purposes that aren't entirely clear (after all, what could anybody possibly benefit from pretending that the Earth is a different shape than it is). One man has come up with a solution and is attempting to get funding for it. Marc Gauld wants to send a flat-Earther into space so that they can report back to everybody else what he saw.
The crowdfunder, on GoFundMe, aims to raise enough money to secure a ticket as one of the first people to take a commercial flight to space.
"This campaign is to prove to flat earthers once and for all that the earth is round," Gauld writes in the crowdfunder. It currently takes $250,000 to secure a seat on a Virgin Galactic flight to enter the earth's orbit."
It might seem like a colossal waste of money - as our resident astrophysicist Dr Alfredo Carpineti puts it "f*** them, why should they get to go to space??" - the organizer is hoping that flat-Earthers themselves will pony up the dough.
"If flat earthers truly want to prove flat earth then I would expect most donations to come from the flat earther community The first flights are planned for this year but maybe held back due to the COVID pandemic but I hope to have a flat earther in space within the next couple years."
Should the money be raised (and let's face it, that's not likely) the organizer says he will allow high-profile flat-Earthers to apply to go to space. This one lucky person will win the chance to be known as a NASA shill in the flat-Earther community when they arrive back and say "yeah ok it's a globe".
As tongue in cheek as it seems, Gauld has already contacted Elon Musk and Richard Branson about buying up a slot on a rocket, Metro reports.
"Please get onboard with this as it is in the name of science and it will finally disprove or prove the flat earth theory and we can finally put this to rest," he wrote. "I am 100% serious about this and your donations will be highly appreciated and will be helping to stop a completely unsupported scientific view getting in the way of real progress."
It probably won't convince them, given how they haven't been convinced by anything else thus far, but at least it'll be safer than them attempting to build their own rockets or trying to sail to the edge of the world.