Flat Earthers at the end of the world


Flat Earthers are a microcosm of so many things.

It had to happen eventually. I was bound to visit the Flat Earth Society’s website. I just had to. I’m filled with derision today, and they’re fish in a barrel. Match made in heaven.

At the link above, the curious reader finds this statement and the following map. The map is actually in the public domain, so I linked it to the source at Wikipedia.

“What does the earth look like? How is circumnavigation possible?

As seen in the diagrams above, the earth is in the form of a disk with the North Pole in the center and Antarctica as a wall around the edge. This is the generally accepted model among members of the society. In this model, circumnavigation is performed by moving in a great circle around the North Pole.

The earth is surrounded on all sides by an ice wall that holds the oceans back. This ice wall is what explorers have named Antarctica. Beyond the ice wall is a topic of great interest to the Flat Earth Society. To our knowledge, no one has been very far past the ice wall and returned to tell of their journey. What we do know is that it encircles the earth and serves to hold in our oceans and helps protect us from whatever lies beyond.

Here is picture of a proposed, but certainly not definitive, flat earth.


Some wit has probably observed on this before, but they seem to have missed one crucial thing…how the map relates to time. In their FAQ, they “explain” a great many things, like circumnavigation and the seasons and day and night.

Since they claim the North Pole is at the center and that


Sorry, I had to regain my composure.

Antarctica forms an ice wall around the world holding the oceans in…

No, no, I’m okay. I got this.

…what I want to know is how they account for travel time. I’d actually love to see this as a reality TV show.

In this show, a team of daring explorers takes a group of Flat Earthers on a trip from Ny-Ålesund, Norway due east. It’s the northernmost city in the world (more northern than the southernmost city is southern).

From there, heading due east, they’d travel only about 4762.8 miles (if my napkin math is right to estimate the shortest possible “around the world journey starting from a city”) of pure arctic suffering before ending up right back where they started. They get to explain that away with their goofy circular map. Season 2, the surviving Flat Earthers (or a new batch, if necessary, since they’re expendable), the team takes a trip to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city.


Motto: end of the world, beginning of everything. Via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

They travel due east. If my guesstimate is correct-ish, that should be about 14,346 miles for them to come round full circle.

Mind you, the Equator is 24,901 miles, thereabouts, but don’t tell them that before the end of Season 2. At the end, Length of the Equator is the big reveal, you see, and they get to try and explain how the southern journey is shorter than that distance by about 10,000 miles.

Like Michael Stipe, I’m sure they’ll be just fine at the end of the world as they know it. Then again, maybe not. How does one cope with that kind of reality adjustment when the damage was just that deep?

Categories: Education, Science/Technology

Tagged as:

8 replies »

  1. I know we live in a world full of very stupid people. But part of me has never been able to quite imagine this isn’t an elaborate put-on. I mean, I can imagine me founding the Flat Earth Society as a satirical tool for ridiculing stupid people.

    The idea that it’s real, that these folks are actually THAT dumb, though… This is hard for even me to grasp.

    • Sadly, we have fine people, fine people, who believe some seriously malignant stupid shit for “reasons” that are every bit as absurd. And people who follow the wisdom of David Avocado Wolfe, with his cosmic chocolate center or whatever. And indigo children. And. And. And that’s just here in the good ol’ US of A. There’s places where fingernail squeezins from a rhino horn have miraculous properties, much to the dismay of rhinos. There’s places where “I can cure my AIDS by fucking an infant? OK,” is a thought that can be had.

      The Flat Earthers are at least relatively benign.

      The Matrix taught me there is no spoon. Life has taught me there is no bottom.