The Earth is round
Let's get that out there to start.
However, certain subsections of the internet have really pushed this narrative that the Earth might not be flat because apparently we all forgot what we learned in 4th grade. It's easy to get taken away by conspiracy theories online. They're all well-structured and sometimes delivered by convincing peeople, but, once again, the Earth is round.
Let's hear how some people came back from the other side.
Reddit user, u/30dirtybirdies, wanted to know:
You Can Only Lie To Yourself For So Long
Former flat-earther here. I started to realize that I was doing mental gymnastics every time I saw everyday evidence that the earth is round. i.e. telling myself that live footage on the space station was just CGI propaganda as that's what flat-earthers believe. It just got to the point where I started feeling desperate to make myself believe it and started to see that there wasn't much real evidence in the first place.
Sunrise, Sunset. Sunrise, Sunset.
Sunrise and sunsets can't be explained on a flat earth model. That's what "de-converted" me originally. After that it was easy to see the world of proof for a spherical earth.
A Broken Heart With A Fixed Mind
Well, my ex was a flat earther. I listened to her foolish lies and I became one too. I guess this just goes to show how much being 'in love' with someone can blind you. As I got to know her it became clear her first language was a language of lies. So I started to reevaluate what she had told me. Trust me if there was a way to push someone off the edge of the earth I would have done so.
Eyes. Use Your Eyes.
Was never a "flat earther" but I humored the theories and felt like some of them had some strong points that made me think they could be right. However, I realized it took away all the hard work and dedication from amazing scientists who spent their lives trying to educate and expand our knowledge and understanding of our world and space.
Also The fact that you can see Jupiter rotate with a personal telescope was a huge turning point for me. Flat earth theories make it seem like NASA is lying about everything but fail to mention you can see SO much from your backyard. You can also use a star tracking mount and watch the earth tilt through the sky
TLDR , I thought it was possible for everything to be doctored without realizing that everyday people can see so much.
All It Takes Is A Little Context
My husband got trapped in a YouTube black hole of flat earth videos for awhile. Drove me up a wall. As of recently I discovered he changed his mind. His reasoning? He discovered the majority of flat earthers are Trumpers with extreme political views and who agree with trumps stupid logic. Husbands flat earth ideas died that day.
Dabbled In A Few Different Conspiracies
I wasn't entirely a flat earther but when I was younger, I was falling for everything I could find on the internet: hollow earth, flat earth, we're actually inside the hollow earth etc etc
I fell in and out of the belief over time until I saw a video of an expirement where one group flew a helicopter far out over the ocean and another group watched it with a powerful telescope as it slowly lowered to the horizon. It dissappeared behind the horizon while the helicopter was still a considerable distance from the ground. That ended that phase for me for good.
The Theory Fills A Void
My mother was always getting into crazy conspiracies, and one time she discovered the flat earth theory. She introduced me to it, and I was skeptical at first, but then I tentatively gave it a chance. The videos she showed me were very convincing, using some real science to explain phenomena we see on the earth could happen if it were flat, such as atmospheric refraction causing the sun to disappear beyond the horizon.
But I never fully accepted the theory, since I had a relatively good grasp of astronomy and didn't see how some effects could happen on a flat earth. For example, we know there are two hemispheres of stars that can be observed from the earth, in the northern and southern sky. It's been well-documented throughout history. But if the earth is flat, wouldn't we see only one hemisphere of stars from any point on the earth? And then there was some complete nonsense like the moon producing its own light... despite having visible shadows in craters.
By asking these questions, my mom eventually realized that the flat earth "theory" made no sense. My mindset when approaching the theory was "We can make observations about how things behave, and come up with different explanations for what causes them. So let's compare the flat and globe earth theories and see which holds up better." We both came to the conclusion that the flat earth doesn't adequately explain many of the things we observe on earth, and several weeks later she ended up watching videos by an airline pilot who debunks the flat earth theory, and showed a few to me.
Deep down, I think she also had an understanding of how the solar system works, since she used to teach science and math as an elementary school teacher. I even have a model of the solar system we made when I was a kid. So letting go of the flat earth theory was probably easier for her than some who don't know about moon phases or the tilt of the earth, or anything like that. Many flat-earthers just lack basic knowledge to begin with, and the flat earth theory fills that void for them.
A Whole Branch Of Military To Figure This Out
I have an acquaintance I met in the Navy, who joined specifically so he could see that the earth was flat while at sea. Every day he would chart the ships location, speed, heading, etc, a few times a day so he could make a map of their path. Ultimately he realized that the path the ship was taking would be impossible if the earth was flat, based on the distance they were travelling vs their speed.
When he finally got skeptical of the earth being flat, his LPO went topside with him and pointed out the curvature by giving him binoculars and explaining that if the earth was flat, he should be able to see the land they were making for. He couldn't see anything off the horizon. After that, he was convinced.
And The Moon Landing, Too?
Ah finally a question perfect for me, I became a flat earther for quite a long time and it was still suprising that I realised that Flat earthers is just straight up Stupid, because for me, the fact that we see the earth flat is because its an illusion of our eyes. (And yes I became a globe earther again and believed In the moon landing again)
Entertain The Rabbit Hole
As someone who entertained but never genuinely believed the idea and went pretty deep down the rabbit hole it's distance/time. On a flat earth map circling the north pole should be an extremely short trip while circling the south pole would be the longest route on the planet.
The further south you get the further apart things should be and the longer trips would take. The flat earth map really falls apart there. Once they start arguing that time works differently based on location you know there's no way to justify the argument.spacedandy1baby
Just Talk To Them
I got a tattoo about a year ago. The guy was highly rated in tattoo and his photo realistic style was exactly what I was looking for to commemorate my mothers passing 20 years prior. While he is setting up, he puts on the tv and the first thing that comes on is a youtube channel about flat earth theories. What followed was the wildest 4 hours I have eve or had strapped into a chair with a man going at my arm with a device that stabs my skin hundreds of times per second.
What was craziest about him was he had his pilots license. He flies an airplane. When he goes up, he can clearly see the curvature of the Earth. As he explained everything though, it kind of made sense why he would believe it. I cant remember specifics, but I came to realize that all his points would make perfect sense if you were applying them to making 3 dimensional art on a 2 dimensional plane. It was pretty fascinating.
The tattoo ended up pretty sick, too. He gave me a discount at the end because I guess no one actually listens to his rants patiently.
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