How we know the Earth is round

Shutterstock.com/ AuntSpray
- Advertisement -

Despite thousands of years of scientific backing and countless pieces of evidence to the contrary, there’s a sizable and still growing number of people who believe that our mother Earth is flat.

Scientists have known that the Earth was not flat for millennia and is instead a spherical shape or round. Today, it’s easier now than ever to prove that the world is round by simply looking at the photos of images taken from satellites in space.

Still, there is a movement, a group of people who reject the notion of a spherical-shaped planet. These people are known as “Flat Earthers.”

- Advertisement -

Flat Earthers are roughly 2% of the United States population, or approximately 6.5 million people, who believe that the Earth is not round despite profound and conclusive scientific evidence.

It’s a growing movement that continues to increase to this day.

What do “flat Earthers” believe?

The flat earth model of the planet places the North Pole at the center of the world. The continents splayed out surrounding the North Pole, and Antarctica surrounds the world on the edge of the world, forming a gigantic wall of ice that protects the Earth and its residents.

The sun is 32 miles in diameter and hovers around the Earth at about 3,000 miles away, hovering around the North Pole. The moon is the same size and behaves the same way. When the sun is up, the moon is not, and vice versa.

What is beyond the ice wall is unknown, but the ice wall acts as a barrier to protect the Earth’s people. In a nutshell, this is what Flat Earthers believe.

The evidence

Ancient people believed that the world was flat because the world looked flat from their vantage point on the ground—this, along with the fact that most ancient people didn’t travel too far from their homes, contributed to this misconception for thousands of years.

That all changed around 2,000 years ago with the ancient Greeks.

The ancient Greeks observed that during a lunar eclipse, the shape of the shadow that the Earth left across the moon’s surface was always round. The only shape that leaves a round impression was a sphere. From this, they were able to conclude that the Earth was round.

Another observation made by the ancient Greeks concerns the constellations. They noted how the patterns of stars change as they moved from North to South. Basically, constellations that were visible on one part of the planet were not visible elsewhere.

Polaris, the North Star, for example, is directly overhead at the North Pole. As one traverses the planet moving further south, they will note that Polaris becomes less visible, disappearing once they reach the Southern Hemisphere. It’s impossible to observe the North Star from a place like Australia.

Looking around the solar system, the other celestial bodies that occupy the same space as our Earth all sport a spherical shape, yet somehow, Earth is the exception.

Finally, and the most conclusive piece of evidence that humanity has devised, images from space. Over the past 60+ years of space exploration, satellites, probes, and various other space crafts have launched into orbit, and every one of them has taken photos of the Earth in a spherical shape. Countless astronauts aboard the ISS (International Space Station) have taken photos themselves, all of which displaying the Earth in its signature, beautiful round shape.

Conclusion

Despite all conclusive evidence to the contrary, people who describe themselves as “Flat Earthers” will continue to ignore the reality right in front of them in favor of fantastical flights of fancy in the form of what they deem “a global conspiracy. To hide the truth.” Turning a blind eye away from hard evidence and science favors their fantasy version of reality.

This is no laughing matter, however. The Flat Earth movement is steadily growing and will continue to grow unless science remains steadfast in its pursuit of truth and knowledge and people do not fall prey to the ignorance therein.

- Advertisement -