Pack your rose-colored glasses and leave behind any notion of logical (and factual) thinking. We're going on a cruise!
The Flat Earth International Conference (FEIC), which is not affiliated with the Flat Earth Society, plans to set sail this November to “uncover and debunk pseudo-scientific ‘facts’”, all while “presenting the true evidence” of our “existence on a flat, stationary plane.” But as The Guardian reports, there’s just one *massive* issue with the FEIC’s “educational endeavor": the navigation systems ships use to set course are based on the fact that the Earth is indeed a spherical shape.
“Ships navigate based on the principle that the Earth is round,” said Henk Keijer, a 23-year veteran cruise ship captain who's sailed all over the globe, told the publication. “Nautical charts are designed with that in mind: that the Earth is round.”
If you’ve ever used your phone to navigate through traffic or capture that elusive Pokémon, then you’re no stranger to global position systems (GPS). The existence of this technology alone, Keijer says, proves that the Earth is in fact spherical. For example, the US government is responsible for maintaining the availability of at least 24 operational GPS satellites – based on the curvature of the Earth – 95 percent of the time. These GPS satellites fly in medium-Earth orbit and circle the Earth at least twice per day in order to beam down navigational and positional data.
“A minimum of three satellites are required to determine a position. But someone located on the other side of the Earth would also like to know their position, so they also require a certain number of satellites,” Keijer explained, adding that if the Earth were flat, just three satellites would be enough to provide this information to the entire population.
IFLScience reached out to Robbie Davidson, the FEIC event coordinator, to ask how the ship plans to stay on course. We have not received a response at the time of publication, but the organization’s frequently asked questions page does quite the job at filling in the blanks.
For those of you concerned about sailing off the edge of the world, the FEIC reassures you that there is nothing to worry about.
“Though there are varying models within the flat earth community, the most commonly depicted model of our earth is that of a circular disk with Antarctica serving as an ice wall barrier,” the organization writes in its FAQ section.
And to all of you dubious round-Earth believers, well there’s still time to convert.
"We maintain that the earth is flat and stationary, but we weren’t born into this way of thinking. Like you, we grew up believing in a heliocentric globe-earth model,” notes the event page. “After extensive experimentation, analysis, and research, we have come to know that the truth of our cosmology is not that which we’ve been told.”
[H/T: The Guardian]