Getting Weird

Flat Earthers: They’re just like us

More stories from Alyssa Anderson


It is with a heavy heart that I type my last column of the semester. What a wild ride it has been.Though I will not be returning to The Spectator staff in the spring, I can assure you that you have not seen the last of me. Au contraire, my friends. Au contraire.

“Getting Weird” is my baby, so you can bet your money I’ll be writing this column until the day I die — I have so much left to say. Who killed JonBenet Ramsey? Are cats just government-issued robots sent to spy on us? Is Ariana Grande a cyborg? You’ll just have to wait and see.

Alright, folks, let’s get down to brass tax.

Logan Paul, the Youtuber we all know and (probably) hate, was spotted in attendance at a keynote speech during a Flat Earth Society conference. Paul, most recognizable from his controversial videos that include, but are not limited to, tazing rats and making fun of corpses in Japan’s famous “Suicide Forest,” was snubbed by the Flat Earth Society, who has no intention of welcoming him into their elite crew.

“…we have no intention of offering him membership or otherwise affiliating with him or his recent statements,” Peter Svarrior, moderator of the Flat Earth Society website, said. “Any claims that Logan Paul is a member of the Flat Earth Society or that he may have been considered for membership are simply untrue.”

Scrolling through the TFES website, I began to wonder how this theory came to fruition. Most of the time, when Flat Earthers are mentioned, they are ridiculed and automatically discredited. However, as I began to dig deeper into the theory, I learned that the Flat Earth theory has been around for over a century.

The theory was first presented by Samuel Rowbothan, an English inventor and writer who published a 16-page pamphlet in 1849 after decades of scientific research. The pamphlet, written under the pseudonym ‘Parallax,’ was re-published in 1881 as a 430 page book called “Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe.”

In 1956, Samuel Shenton, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Geographic Society, re-named the Universal Zetetic Society and coined the name Flat Earth Society. Shenton garnered a significant following and remained president of the society until his death in 1971. By his death, the society had over 100 members, according to the Flat Earth Society website.

What is the science behind the Flat Earth theory? Is it just an unfounded conspiracy theory? As a matter of fact, the reasoning behind this theory is backed up with a hefty amount of research.

“The evidence for a flat earth is derived from many different facets of science and philosophy… The simplest is by relying on one’s own senses to discern the true nature of the world around us,” the website said. “The world looks flat, the bottoms of clouds are flat, the movement of the Sun; these are all examples of your senses telling you that we do not live on a spherical heliocentric world.”

While this explanation is more pseudoscience than anything, it’s interesting to read how Flat Earthers justify their beliefs. They may defy all rules of logic, but at least they thought it through.

If the earth is flat, how have we sent people to space?

Well, this is where it gets interesting.

According to the Flat Earth Society website, space agencies have been tricking people into believing that people have been to space. To Flat Earthers, space exploration is just one giant conspiracy that started during the “Space Race” during the Cold War. However, Flat Earthers don’t believe space agencies know the earth is flat — they simply think the earth is round because they expect it to be (whatever that means.)

I could go on and give a full history and overview of the Flat Earth theory, but I have to exercise some self-control.

Flat Earthers aren’t crazy people. They have their reasons for believing what they believe, just like us. Their arguments lack logic and scientific reasoning, but I guess it works for them. After all, they’re not hurting anyone.

Well, this is where I leave you. Keep your eyes peeled for more conspiracies in the future. Au revoir!

Anderson can be reached at [email protected]