Date:January 29, 2020

What If The Earth Was Flat?


Let us take one moment and think. If the Earth was flat, how would gravity work? Would the apple fall on Newton’s head? Would we still have time zones? Change of seasons? Would the conditions for life here on Earth even exist?

For thousands of years humans have known that the planet is round, yet the belief in a flat Earth refuses to die.

First of all, a pancaked planet might not have any gravity. That’s a pretty big deal, since gravity explains a wide range of Earthly and cosmic observations. The same measurable force that causes an apple to fall from a tree also causes the moon to orbit the Earth and all the planets to orbit the sun.

Flat Earthers suggest that gravity would pull straight down, but what we know from gravity, it would pull toward the center of the disk. As you get further from the center, gravity would tug more and more horizontally. This would have some strange impacts, like sucking all the water toward the center of the world, and making trees and plants grow diagonally, since they develop in the opposite direction of gravity’s pull.

Second, deep below ground, the solid core of the Earth generates the planet’s magnetic field, which protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. But in a flat planet, that would have to be replaced by something else. Perhaps by a flat sheet of liquid metal. Without a magnetic field, the sun would fry the planet.

Then, if the sun and moon just loop around one side of a flat Earth, there could presumably be a procession of days and nights. The weather would be pretty boring. It wouldn’t either explain seasons, eclipses and many other phenomena.

Also, traveling would be very difficult, since pretty much anywhere you go, you’d be essentially having to climb a huge mountain. Someone’s dream to travel the world would have been very difficult to realize. It would take you 32 hours to fly from Australia to some parts of South America.

With all these said nowadays, the ancient Greeks figured the Earth was round 2,500 years ago without having to fly into space and take a snapshot. How hard can it be?

After Pythagoras idea, a century and a half later, Aristotle put forward what was likely the physical evidence that the Earth is round. He noted that ships sailing over the horizon disappear hull first. He also observed that the Earth casts a round shadow on the moon during an eclipse.

Moreover, did we mention that in a Flat Earth scenario, there would be no GPS? Satellites wouldn’t be able to orbit a Flat Earth, leaving humanity with no navigation, and no synchronized time.

We would not have ATMs, credit cards, and no high-speed market transactions. On the bright side, with a good pair of binoculars you could see Dubai’s Burj Khalifa from any part of the flat world. Even Aristotle would also see the ships sailing for a very longer time.

But let’s be honest: you don’t need to build your own rocket to see the Earth is not flat. The evidence is all around us.