There are few certainties in life: death, taxes, and the sun’s rising in the east and setting in the west. Or does it rise on the left and set on the right?
Lately, as flat-Earth theorists have become more vocal, it seems as though people are more frequently asking questions of that very nature, and the movement is gaining ground. (Just this week, a flat-earth believer launched himself into space in a homemade rocket in an effort to disprove the round-Earth theory.) These questions go against every logical explanation of what we know to be true about our planet: mainly, that it is sphere-shaped and orbits the sun.
The rise in visibility of flat-Earth theories might be a product of what’s rapidly becoming known as the “post-fact/post-truth era” in our society, in which an untruth repeated enough times becomes truth by groupthink. However, these theories existed long before the 2016 election cycle and have outlasted counterarguments from Aristotle, Ferdinand Magellan, NASA, and most rational-thinking humans.
Too often, the discourse about the shape of Earth becomes about proving negatives and centers on explaining that something isn’t true rather than proving that it is. Indeed, the burden should be on flat-Earth theorists to explain clearly why their theories are correct and to use science to back those claims.
Fortunately, for every idea on why Earth might be flat, there is physical evidence that proves Earth is definitely globular. Here’s a bunch of that evidence, and you don’t even need to spend $1 million to launch yourself into space.
1. Watch a ship sail off to sea
Without being in the sky, it is impossible to see the curvature of the Earth. However, you can always see a demonstration of this if you visit a harbor or any place with a wide-open view of the water.
If you are able to watch a ship sail off to sea, watch its mast and flag as it fades off into the distance. You will notice that, in fact, it does not “fade off into the distance” at all; instead, you will see its mast and flag appear to slowly sink. The ship sailed beyond the point at which you would see it. Just to be sure, bring a pair of binoculars with you so that you can see even farther off into the distance.
It’s as if you’re watching it go over to the other side of a hill. This phenomenon can only be explained by a sphere-shaped planet.
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