In ancient times the earth was believed to be flat. As our understanding and knowledge of our own world grew, the notion of flat earth was proved to be wrong and enabled the scientists to guess the correct shape of earth. The recent advancement in science and technologies, gives us even more clear picture of the shape of the earth.
The photographs taken from outer space prove beyond doubt, that the earth is spherical, or more specifially, an oblate spheroid. But still, there are number of people in today’s world that do not believe so. They claim that the earth is actually flat and allege that all the governments of all countries including agencies like NASA are trying to cover up this fact, for some egregious motive!
The first person in modern times to claim such thing was Samuel Rowbotham (1816-1884), based on Bedford Level experimemt. He found out during the experiment that a boat’s mast remained entire time, in the line of sight, of his telescope, in its sail of 6 miles on Bedford river. From this experiment he concluded that the earth is actually flat, because the logic follows that the mast should have vanished from his sight as a result of earth’s curvature. The theory uses many psedoscience and “empirical evidences” i.e. the earth appearing to be flat even from great heights and constellations appearing to be at the same spot in sky, to prove that the earth is flat. Besides this, the theory relies heavily on religious scriptures, such as as the Bible and the Quran, and their literal interpretations which also hint at earth being flat. Though, the modern flat earth society officially declares itself to be unattached to any religious dogma.
The theory saw a decline in 20th century with even more scientific discoveries and space explorations that did not leave an iota of doubt about earth’s shape. But the theory again gained some popularity from the effort of Samuel Shenton (1903-1971). He had earlier tried to convince government to make an airship that would remain stationary in air, and hence, because of the earth’s rotation, the airship would have moved from one point on earth’s surface to another. The idea was rejected by the government and thus, like his namesake, he too concluded that the Earth is not round but flat and the government triying to keep it a secret, and that it for this reason that his airship’s design was rejected. Convinced about government’s wrongplay in keeping earth’s shape a secret, he set up the International Flat Earth society in 1956, to educate the masses about the truth of the earth’s shape.
According to the flat earth theory, the earth is of disc-shaped, having a dome shaped sky above it, and the north pole being the centre. The south pole is said to be a 150 feet ice-wall surrounding the earth’s perimeter. The sun and the moon being spheres of 32 miles, each rotating in a fixed orbit 3000 miles above earth’s surface, where the sun becomes overhead, it is said to be a day there. The flat earthers claim the space expeditions to be hoaxes, and photographs to be fake. They also allege that the NASA spends all of its budget to wrongly depict the earth’s shape and in destroying the evidences that proves the flat earth theory.