One of the first things we’re taught in school is that the Earth is round - but type ‘Flat Earth’ into the #Internet and you’ll find a whole lot of people who believe that’s just a huge conspiracy. Not only that, but you’ll quickly realise that living on a flat Earth is a lot more fun.

First, you get to believe what your senses tell you, as opposed to swallowing all the unproveable stuff that scientists would have us believe. Let’s face it, the world looks flat, doesn’t it? And the higher you go, the flatter it looks. The Sun and the Moon look like they’re crossing the sky above a stationary Earth. As for the notion that we’re on a ball spinning at 1040mph while circling the Sun at 67000mph... come on, does it feel like the Earth’s moving to you?

Edge of the Earth

Flat Earth theory gives you larger than life heroes, like US Admiral Richard E. Byrd who spent the late 1940s exploring Antarctica. Byrd claimed to have discovered an area of land “as big as the United States” rich in oil, coal and uranium, beyond the south pole. Shortly after Byrd’s final mission, however, the Antarctic Treaty put the continent off limits to commercial exploitation. The reason, believers claim, is that Byrd found the edge of the world, and the Treaty is to stop anyone else finding it. Uber-explorer Byrd is also said to have discovered a hole in the North Pole and an inhabited world within our own hollow Earth - but that’s another conspiracy theory.

Flat Earth map

You get a lovely round map. In 1892, Alexander Gleason patented a disc-like flat Earth map. At the centre is the North Pole, with the continents fanned out around it. Antarctica, however, isn’t a continent, but a ring of ice around the circumference that holds in the world’s ocean’s like the lip of a bowl. There is a suspicious resemblance between Gleason’s map and the #United Nations logo - because, of course, the UN is hiding in plain sight that they know the Earth is flat.

Conspiracy theory

With a flat Earth, you get several conspiracy theories for the price of one, including that the Moon landings were faked. Flat Earthers believe the disc world is enclosed in a dome described in the Bible as the firmament. Remember all those airborne atomic tests in the 1950s (right after Byrd found the edge)? That was the governments of the world attempting to nuke a hole in the firmament. They couldn’t, so the space programme was faked to maintain the illusion that the world is round.

Aliens

But you don’t have to be religious, because who’s to say that the dome wasn’t built by aliens and that we’re living in a Truman Show type of experiment, in which the night sky is a projection in a massive planetarium? Some flat Earther’s believe the known Earth is just one of several flat worlds existing like puddles on an illimitable plane of ice.

Once you stop believing we’re on a globe you can believe anything you like, because you can’t make yourself sound any dafter. #Astronomy