The Australian map is a conspiracy…. and the spherical Earth that we know of is just another put-up job by multiple governments, scientists and NASA.
The Flat Earth Society argues that by applying reason and logic, they have identified the true shape of the earth, which is flat. They believe that the possibility of a spherical earth is the greatest lie ever told to mankind and all the satellite images of the earth that we have seen so far are false, created just to fool the untrained eye. Going by that logic, the shape of the Australian continent is also not as we know it.
Their belief is rooted in pseudoscience and religious literalism. The theory states that the North Pole is at the centre of the flat world and all other continents lying around it are encircled by a 164 feet-tall ice wall. They also believe that the sun and the moon are of the same size and have a diameter of 32 miles, resting 2500 miles above the flat earth (astronomers have studied it to be around 93 million miles away). Other facts that are claimed to be fake by the flat-earth theorists include our historic moon landing, gravity and nuclear test motives. According to them, nuclear tests were an attempt to break through the alleged solid dome around the planet.
These conclusions are drawn by a very subjective reading of the Bible. It becomes more interesting when the spherical shape of all other bodies in the universe like stars, the moon, and other planets are acknowledged. The Earth is justified as being different because it is inhabited. They substantiate their theory by facts like how no commercial aircrafts travel over Antarctica (the Antarctic Treaty bans flights over it). Another one being how in pictures clicked from mountain tops and hot air balloons, the earth can be seen as flat, (they are of course, in denial of the pictures clicked by multiple satellites throughout history). Their most prominent “proof” as they call it is the present UN symbol, which is quite similar to their claimed map.
It all started in early 1800s when Samuel Birley Rowbotham founded this society in England. Since then, it has spread all over the world and is thriving to date. The group has come back to life since 2004 and reopened to new members in 2009. This caught the attention of many people, including some celebrities.
One such celebrity is the rapper B.o.B, who tweeted out a picture with the caption, “The cities in the background are approx. 16miles apart… where is the curve ? please explain this”
Hall of Fame basketballer Shaquille O’Neal, in a podcast, expressed strongly how he knows that the earth is flat as he drove from coast to coast in America and saw first-hand the flatness of the earth.
Kyrie Irving, the Australian born NBA star has publically commented multiple times about how he does not believe that we live on a spherical earth. Even LeBron James was seen pulling his leg, when in an interview he asked Irving if the earth was flat. “Yeah”, came a prompt reply from the latter.
The growth of such a society points at the lost faith in authority that is experienced by many people these days. Any fact presented to them is questioned and dismissed based on its source. Clearly, such conspiracy theories are not aimed at producing any financial or social gain, but are simple by-products of complete mistrust.
While there should be free speech and right to one’s opinion, the theory demonstrates our failing school systems. The fact that this society has survived for centuries and is thriving even in modern times, shows the weakness of the education structure that our children are being made parts of, where their ability to distinguish between facts and fiction is far from developed. The magnitude of the problem is alarming and of a grave concern.