Is the Earth really flat?

Khushi Saboo, BBA Batch of 2025, Kirit P. Mehta School of Law, Mumbai

A variety of ancient civilizations assumed that the World was flat because they simply knew no better. But today, despite decades of evidence to prove the contrary, some people still claim that the World is flat. We know more about the curvature of the Planet than almost any other topic in the field of physical science. There are so many experiments, findings and demonstrations that have shown the Earth’s curve time and again. The Earth’s atmosphere, with various layers of air bending light in interesting ways, can play funny tricks on our eyes.

This phenomenon, a side effect of the curvature of the Earth, is not a sure-fire guarantee of the curve of our world, but it’s a start. There’s also another trick that you can play. If you live in a particularly flat place, you can see stars all the way down to the horizon, but no more (because the Earth is in your way). But if you go up, say, to the top of a mountain, you’ll get a better perspective, and you’ll see stars further down than you would have seen before.

The Planet moves between the sun and the moon during a lunar eclipse, causing the Earth to cast its shadow on the moon. No matter where you are on the earth, no matter the timing of the eclipse, the shadow is always, always a circle. The only way to cast a circular shadow is if the thing casting the shadow- in this case, the Earth is a globe.

And that’s not to mention the numerous images taken of Earth by astronauts from hundreds of different countries, space programs and private organizations orbiting satellites and eyewitness testimonials.

Then what is this controversy really about? Lack of trust in our scientists and scientific experiments? Or the inability of flat-earthers to prove that the earth isn’t round? Some models indicate that a wall of ice in the oceans covers the edges of the Planet. Others say that our flat earth and its atmosphere are encased in a massive, hemispheric globe of snow from which nothing will fall off the edges. Many flat-earthers assume that the Sun travels in circles around the North Pole, with its light acting as a spotlight, to account for night and day. In particular, the Internet and YouTube videos have sparked Flat-Earth theories.

Flat-earthers claim images of the globe are photoshopped; GPS systems are rigged to make airplane pilots think that while they are flying in circles over a disk, they are flying in straight lines around a sphere. The reason for the concealment of the true shape of the Earth by world governments has not been determined, but flat-earthers assume it is possibly financial. Nonetheless, the flat earth conspiracy remains to be one of the most discussed, analyzed, researched and controversial conspiracies of all times.

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