You’d think that flying on an airplane would be something that flat-earthers would avoid. After all, you can fly to destinations on the other side of the planet in a variety of ways. Because the Earth is a sphere.
For instance, flights from the United States to Denmark would go over the North Pole to avoid Soviet airspace during the Cold War. Flights can go over Antarctica as well to cut down on mileage.
If you’re unfamiliar with flat-earthers, they are people who believe that the Earth is flat. They generally believe that things like the moon landing and other ventures into space are faked by the government.
According to these people, the high-resolution images of the spherical earth and high-definition videos that the International Space Station routinely posts to social media are all fake.
This begs the question of why the government would spend massive amounts of money creating photos for a Twitter account. We know Photoshop works really well, but populating a Twitter feed with hundreds of fake photos seems like an unnecessary expense for a government plot.
The reality is that with the advent of the internet, conspiracy theories are easier to debunk than ever. The simplest of them have long been explained away. For instance, the Bermuda Triangle is the location of so many wrecks and accidents because it is a vast area with heavy traffic, not because it has a mysterious power.
Yet people want to believe in interesting theories to set themselves apart. The X-Files and other paranormal shows made believing in government coverups cool, and the flat-earth theory is a perfect fit.
The biggest reason that people believe in a flat Earth is because the science is complicated to understand for laypeople. It’s easy to sow doubt when the scientific explanations for phenomena are hard to understand.
A YouTube personality named D. Marble regularly posts videos about how the Earth is flat. The charming and good-looking man would be convincing if it weren’t for the mountains of evidence that contradict his claims.
He recently took a spirit level on a plane to prove once and for all that the world is flat. The problem? He’s not a scientist and he misinterpreted the results of his experiment.
Marble showed complex calculations that supposedly explained how the plane’s nose should dip every so often for the plane to fly around the curvature of the Earth. He shows the bubble of the level at various stages staying more or less even (meaning the plane is perpendicular to the Earth).
He was immediately called out on Twitter for running a shoddy experiment. Basically, the level shows that the plane is perpendicular to gravity, which is consistent with the Earth being spherical.
Planes do not have to dip their nose to curve around the Earth because gravity is constantly pulling the plane down towards the center of the Earth. This is called centripetal force, and scientists use it to calculate how to make satellites revolve around the Earth. Because the Earth is spherical.
We’re still waiting for Marble’s reply, but we’re not holding our breath.