Flat Earth Conspiracy Theories


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Emma Marti, Editor-in-Chief

With a basis in science and history, the flat Earth conspiracy theories pose the idea stated in the name, that the Earth is actually flat, and not the globe society is used to. While the name is slightly misleading, most people never believed the Earth was truly flat, merely a disc shape. 

Across the globe, different cultures cite various sources for their belief in the flat Earth theory. Out of all geographical locations, a few are referenced throughout history. The most prevalent are Greece, Egypt and East Asia. 

In Ancient Greece, various figures stated their belief in the flat Earth theory, or at that point, it was simply what they considered the truth. Poets Homer and Hesiod described the Earth as having a disc shape in on the Shield of Achilles, mentioned in the “Illiad.” This description is then further referenced in various literature. Before Socrates, multiple philosophers also believed that the world was flat, some even believed the Earth was a cylinder, such as Anaximander. 

Traveling to Egypt and Mesopotamia, their belief is founded in Homer’s influence. They believed that the world was a disk floating in the ocean. This affected their religion and how they viewed the solar system. They saw the solar system as a dome surrounding a disc-shaped Earth with the sun, moon and other planets embedded into it. 

Lastly, East Asia’s view on the Earth’s shape strongly impacted their society. Their belief also impacted how they viewed religion. They believed that, while Earth was flat and square, the heavens were round. There is no evidence for a round Earth in Chinese astronomy. There is evidence, however, that some thought instead of being perfectly round, the Earth was shaped like an egg. 

Historically, different cultures used various reasoning to explain why they believed in a flat Earth. There is an excuse for these historical figures, as they did not have advanced technology to prove otherwise. In today’s society, there is plenty of evidence that the Earth is not flat, yet people choose to ignore evidence from trusted sources and claim that the Earth is, in fact, flat.  

The flat Earth conspiracy theories, much like all conspiracy theories, are pushed into the narrative through social media. There are organizations and groups with the sole purpose of promoting their belief in a flat Earth. Without the internet or social media, these groups would have a harder time recruiting new members or reaching an audience across the globe. 

While history and scholars once believed this theory, there is plenty of technology today that they did not have. The technology used today proves that the Earth is not flat. If those scholars and historians had access to the technology of today, they more than likely would not have supported this theory. Granted, there are people who still publicly support this theory and have access to evidence proving otherwise. If nothing else, this proves that blatant facts are not always enough to stop people from believing in conspiracy theories.