It's easy to get sucked into the conspiracy theory world. Almost everyone believed in some kind of wild theory at a certain point in their lives. We usually grow out of it, but there are certainly some conspiracies that can grab your focus.
Some of the more popular conspiracies include JFK, the moon landing, and 9/11. These conspiracy theories, while probably not true, are interesting to think about and contain some convincing evidence. Even people who are dead-set against some of these theories change their mind after hearing the evidence.
The flat earth theory is something different. It's growing in popularity, and it's hard to understand why so many people are buying it. It seems like they're denying absolute fact in favor of a fictional truth. Many conspiracy theories rely on the "prove me wrong" element of society. You can't prove that the moon landing wasn't faked because most people weren't close enough to know for sure.
The flat earth theory, though, can be proven wrong. Still, people continue to believe it as though basic science isn't a thing. If you're like me, you'll want to take a look at the information that has convinced so many people. Fair warning: you're still not going to think they're on to anything.
15 Maps Lie
In order to believe that the earth is flat, you have to believe that maps of the earth are a lie. This includes the globe model, which is the widely-accepted model of the earth as viewed from space.
The flat earthers subscribe to the Gleason Map. This map shows what the world would look like if it was flat. It's basically a flattened-out globe, which is why so many flat earth people find it easy to believe that this map is the case. It's not too far from what the "myth" is, which makes it seem like it could be the truth.
Flat earthers aren't completely wrong here. Maps are actually misleading. The size of the northern hemisphere has been significantly amplified. This is, of course, because the northern hemisphere is where the power lies. The map creators fudged the scales in order to make the countries of the north seem larger. This doesn't mean that the entire model is a lie, though.
14 The Firmament
The crux of the flat earth argument is the firmament referenced in the bible. The firmament refers to a large dome that separates the waters from the sky. Basically, the firmament protects the earth from space.
The bible references the firmament as the barrier between heaven and earth. A logical person may look at the firmament argument and say, "Well, they were obviously referring to the atmosphere." While that's a reasonable take, flat earthers take the definition of a massive dome covering the earth more literally.
That's pretty much the entirety of the firmament argument. You'll notice a trend that the flat earthers are a religious bunch. They take their history lessons from the bible, even though the included verses have been handpicked by cardinals and the original words are all but lost.
13 The Ice Wall
The Ice wall is another fundamental belief in the flat earth theory. Flat earthers think that there is an ice boundary that covers the known world (yes, exactly like Game of Thrones). This is one of the reasons, they say, why people aren't allowed to go to Antarctica. If you've gone to Antarctica (or say you have), then you're just admitting to them that you're in on the conspiracy.
The ice wall connects to the dome in one way or the other, and there's no real consensus as to what's on the other side. Some people believe that humans have ventured over the ice wall. Others think that we haven't and that it actually separates us from an entirely different world. Some think that the earth extends to infinity and includes multiple worlds (as we understand them) that are all covered by a dome of some sort.
12 The Antarctic Treaty
The Antarctic Treaty was signed on December 1, 1959. It was signed by 12 countries upon its conception, and that number has since risen to 53. The basic reason for the Antarctic Treaty was to establish an international safe zone for research and inclusion. They declared that no one could establish control of Antarctica, presumably so that it would remain a peaceful place to research the frozen continent.
As is the case with so many things, flat earthers don't believe that these are the only reasons the Antarctic treaty was signed. Some say that the giant dome comes down in Antarctica. Others say that it's impossible to get there. Theories range from the governments of the world trying to keep the dome a secret to the governments trying to protect the dome.
The general flat earth consensus, though, is that Antarctica sits in the center of the global conspiracy to make the masses think that the world is round.
11 Astronauts Drowning
Flat earthers are big-time NASA skeptics. They basically believe that everything NASA has told us is false. We'll get more into the "NASA lies" ahead, but one thing the flat earth camp believes is that astronauts pretend they're in space when they're really under water.
A viral video recently exposed this belief. A flat earther saw a NASA employee in a Starbucks, and the flat earther confronted the NASA employee on the issue of astronauts almost dying in space.
Apparently (this was before the video starts), the NASA employee told the man that the astronauts are almost drowning on their own spit. The flat earther took exception to this and started filming the man and calling him a fraud. He even went so far as to accuse the NASA employee of hating America. The whole video made the flat earther look pretty stupid–as they usually do–but he got the point across that flat earthers think astronauts drown because they're really simulating space from a pool.
10 Massive Tree Stumps
Do you believe in mountains? That may sound like a stupid question, but many flat earthers don't believe that mountains are actually mountains.
In order to acknowledge the way mountains are formed, you'd have to buy into the concept that there is a molten core at the center of our planet. You'd have to accept the existence of tectonic plates moving around our spherical earth.
The flat earth party line is that mountains actually used to be trees. The giant trees we see now are just babies compared to the trees of olden times. Mountains of today are actually just tree stumps.
Who cut the trees down, then? Well, this part is up for debate. Some say that ancient giants cut them down, while others attribute it to God or aliens. Basically, anything you can think of could be responsible for these tree stumps, so your guess is as good as anyone's.
9 The Horizon
The horizon, says the flat earthers, is completely flat. There is no curve of the earth whatsoever. This is one of the most popular flat earth theories out there, which is mostly caused by people like B.o.B. photographing the horizon and tweeting it to his fans.
This theory is a bit of a chicken or egg scenario. It's unclear whether the flat earth theory made people look skeptically at the horizon or if skeptical looks at the horizon started the flat earth theory.
Both are possible, but all it takes is a different photograph to prove this theory incorrect. In any case, the fact that the horizon is flat is one of the cornerstones of the flat earth argument, no matter how preposterous it may be.
8 Gravity Is A Myth
Gravity, ever heard of it? Well, if you believe in such sorcery, then you'd be considered a sheep to anyone who thinks that the earth is flat.
Flat earthers cling to the "prove me wrong" argument, knowing most of us don't know enough to give reasons why they're wrong. It's like in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, when Charlie says he burns the trash so it goes up into the sky and creates stars. Mac says, "That doesn't sound right but I don't know enough about stars to dispute it."
Flat earthers are the same way. If the earth is spinning, they ask, then how are we on the ground? If the earth was really spinning, we'd be launched to space.
This makes sense on the simplest of levels. Flat earthers believe that the earth is being propelled upward by a force called "dark energy." What is dark energy, you ask? Well, the flat earthers don't know either. All they know is the gravity is BS.
7 Distance To The Sun
If the sun's so big, how come it's so small when I see it in the sky? Same goes for the stars. If they're so far away, how are we able to see them in the sky? These are the kinds of burning questions to which flat earthers are seeking answers.
Fortunately, they have developed their own theories on the matters. According to flat earthers, the sun, the moon, and the stars actually aren't that far away. The sun and the moon are only 3,000 feet away, and the stars are 100 feet behind them.
Why don't they kill us if they're so close, you ask? Well, that's because those losers are only 32 miles in diameter. Apparently, flat earthers have a beef with the temperature of the sun as well.
6 The Sun Circles The Earth
In addition to the size and the distance of the sun, moon, and stars, the flat earthers think that the earth is the center of the universe. The moon and the sun actually revolve around us. Flat earthers think that it would be preposterous for the earth to be spinning, so they think that the moon and the earth must be the ones doing the moving.
This is another aspect of the flat earth theory that can be debunked by science, but not many people are scientifically literate enough to form a coherent argument against it.
The flat earth theory seems to have been created first, with the rest of the "evidence" added to fit their narrative. This is perhaps most notable in arguments like these.
5 The Moon Landing Was Faked
It's impossible to trace the origin of the flat earth theory, but it may have its roots in the moon landing theory. Since the moon landing, skeptics have come out of the woodwork to say that the moon landing was fake. Some of their evidence include suspect filming, the appearance of wind when there should be none, and the fact that we haven't gone back to the moon.
Altogether, the moon landing conspiracy isn't the craziest conspiracy to which you can subscribe. The evidence can be interesting at times, but it's hard to believe that the actual astronauts who went there would lie for so long.
One of the more plausible explanations would be that NASA filmed some B-roll of the moon landing in order to cover themselves if tragedy struck. They may have used some of that footage in the final product, but that doesn't mean we didn't get there.
Flat earthers, though, won't even make this compromise.
4 Other Planets
One of the biggest points of contention within the flat earth community is the situation on other planets. Some believe that other planets are completely fake. They're just another propaganda tool in the government's tool belt. They make us think that other planets exist so we won't believe in God.
Another theory from flat earthers is that other planets do exist. Some even think that it's possible that aliens have visited our planet, although it's hard to reconcile this with the dome theory. In any case, flat earthers that believe in other planets think that those planets are also flat. They may have their own domes, their own suns, and their own stars.
Of course, we stand no chance of ever reaching these planets because the government agency that controls space exploration is actually a giant government propaganda wing.
3 Satellites Are Fake
To believe in the flat earth theory, you also have to believe that we have never gone to space. If you believe that we've never gone to space, then you obviously have to think that there can't be any man-made items floating up there.
This is why flat earthers think satellites are fake. They believe that all photos of these satellites were doctored and made to look like they were in space. Outside of flat earth-land, there are 3,600 satellites out there.
For most of us, these satellites explain how TVs, cellphones, radios, and a host of other everyday items work. For flat earthers, the reason these items work remains a mystery. They haven't worked this one out just yet, but I'm sure they'll come up with something soon.
2 NASA Footage Is Fake
What about all of the photographs NASA has taken of the earth? These photos prove that the earth is round, that satellites exist, and that people have been to space. Well, flat earthers don't believe any of this.
Just like everything NASA does in their propaganda war against the truth, they have faked their space photos to make it look like the earth is round. First of all, flat earthers generally believe that people haven't been to space. If they had, they would go floating off into the abyss. This means that there couldn't possibly be any photos of the earth from above.
How, then, can the flat earth camp prove that the earth is indeed flat? They really can't. Most of it boils down to intuition and trusting what you see. That's enough evidence for them, but most of us need a bit more.
1 The Why
With every good conspiracy, there has to be a concrete "why" at the end. Without the "why," people who believe will have no real reason to think anything is amiss.
There isn't a coherent "why" in the flat earth camp, only a few splintering "maybes" to which some people cling. Some think it's all about the money. They think NASA is some giant conspiracy that is running the world in one way or another.
Another big theory is that it's a way for the government to suppress religion—namely Christianity. They disregard the idea that religion is a form of control in itself and think that all of science is lying to our faces in order to snuff out the belief in God. Like I said, the flat earthers are a religious bunch.
Overall, the flat earthers believe in their instincts. The earth looks and feels flat, which means it's flat.
Sources: livescience.com, theatlantic.com, gawker.com
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