spaceSpace and Physics

This Photographer Just Destroyed Flat-Earthers Using A Basketball


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer


Daniele Carotenuto/Shutterstock

Everyone loves a good flat-Earth debunking, and this one is no exception, as a photographer showed how any spherical object can be made to look “flat” close up.

In a post on imgur, 36-year-old software engineer Jeff used a basketball and a camera to recreate the curvature of Earth. And yeah, up close it does indeed look flat. Funny that, eh?


“Looking at my photos, it’s easy to imagine being an incredibly small creature living on the surface of the basketball,” Jeff told Bored Panda. “From the perspective of that tiny creature, the ‘horizon’ of the basketball would always look ‘flat.’”

In the photos, Jeff used a macro lens to get an ultra-close-up view of the basketball. In his post on imgur, he said he “tediously positioned the camera” on a tripod to get the “horizon” of the basketball into view.

He then took a number of images with a manual focus, before combining them in stacking software to produce a final image. And from that image, well, the basketball sure does look flat, doesn’t it?


The width of the basketball’s surface in one of the images was just 4.2 millimeters wide. Jeff then zoomed in even further to provide “proof that a basketball is flat”, with a final image 2.75 millimeters wide.


“The ball is an ‘official size’ basketball from a company called ‘Baden’. Their website lists their "official size" balls as 29.5 [inches] circumference (749.3 mm),” he wrote.

“The circumference of Earth is about 40,075 km [24,900 miles]. So this "horizon" of the basketball is equivalent to the amount of curvature you would see while looking at 147 km (91 miles) worth of Earth's horizon.”

Up close, even a basketball can be made to look flat. Unless you believe the “flat basketball” theory that suggests this ball was always flat. Maybe we need someone to zoom in on a tennis ball for further proof?

Earlier this week, another person produced their own debunking of the flat-Earth theory, using Google Maps and an image of his own house to show the curvature of the planet. Plus there's that other bit of proof that, you know, Earth is round and all. Just saying.


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