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10 Flat Earth Theories That Defy Common Beliefs

by Steve Etherwood
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Have you ever questioned the shape of our planet? While the overwhelming scientific consensus supports the idea that Earth is an oblate spheroid, a small but vocal community believes otherwise. Welcome to the world of flat Earth theories, where conventional wisdom is challenged, and alternative explanations are embraced. In this list, we explore ten fascinating flat Earth theories that defy common beliefs.

Flat or round—let’s see which side you fall on.

Related: 10 Bizarre Ways The Moon Affects Life On Earth

10 The Ancient Disc Theory: A Flat Earth in Ancient Texts

An Astronomer Responds To Flat Earth Theory

Ancient civilizations have left behind texts and artwork that some flat Earth theorists interpret as evidence for a flat Earth. They argue that ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, possessed advanced knowledge about the planet’s true shape, which they depicted as a disc floating amid the cosmos.

According to these theorists, ancient Egyptian records describe the world as a disk in the ocean with the heavens arching above it. These descriptions depict a flat Earth cosmology. Mesopotamian creation myths, such as the Sumerian myth Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, assume that the heavens and earth were once united and later split apart.

Does it make a difference that these beliefs are based on ancient cosmologies and mythologies, not scientific observations or evidence? That’s for you to decide. Maybe they knew something we don’t.

9 The Conspiracy Theory: A Global Deception?

This Flat Earther Thinks NASA is Lying to You

Flat Earth believers propose that the idea of a spherical Earth is an elaborate conspiracy perpetuated by governments, space agencies, and influential figures. According to this theory, the powers that be manipulate evidence, doctor images, and silence dissenting voices to maintain control and suppress the truth about our flat world.

According to Michael Marshall, project director of the Good Thinking Society in the UK, flat Earth belief is seen as the “Rosetta Stone” of conspiracy theories. It is considered the foundation that helps make sense of other conspiracy theories.

Flat Earth theorists also question the credibility of scientific institutions, including NASA and mainstream scientists. They believe these institutions are part of the conspiracy and intentionally spread false information about Earth’s shape.

In general, flat Earth theorists tend to adopt a hyper-skeptical mindset, questioning everything and seeking alternative explanations for scientific evidence. They often dismiss mainstream science as flawed and rely on their own interpretations and observations. But at the end of the day, isn’t questioning the held hypothesis part of the scientific process anyway?

8 The Dome Theory: Encased in a Celestial Dome

Inside a Flat Earth convention, where nearly everyone believes Earth isn’t round

Some flat Earth enthusiasts argue that Earth is not only flat but also enclosed within a massive celestial dome. They believe this dome explains the phenomena of the sky and the heavenly bodies, providing a literal firmament described in ancient religious texts.

Flat Earth theorists often point to biblical passages to support the idea of a dome covering the Earth. They interpret verses such as Genesis 1:6-7, which mention a “vault” or “firmament” separating the waters above and below, as evidence of a physical barrier enclosing the Earth.

Theorists often claim that the existence of the dome is being concealed by powerful entities. They argue that this conspiracy is maintained to control information and prevent people from discovering the true nature of Earth.

Supposedly, the firmament is believed to be a solid structure resembling a dome or a glass-like barrier that covers the flat Earth. This dome serves various purposes, such as explaining the existence of the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. They believe that the dome acts as a barrier that prevents humans from reaching outer space.

At the end of the day, it comes down to one question—did Neal Armstrong really make it to the moon?

7 The Gravitational Anomaly Theory: Is Gravity a Magic Trick?

We Will Prove You That Gravity Doesn’t Exist in 10 Minutes

Contrary to mainstream scientific understanding, flat Earth proponents question the existence of gravity as we know it. They propose that the observed phenomena attributed to gravity, such as objects falling toward the Earth’s center, can be explained by other forces or concepts, thus challenging one of the fundamental principles of physics.

Flat Earth theorists have different explanations for gravity, but their explanations are not supported by scientific evidence or mainstream consensus. Some flat Earth theorists argue that gravity is not a real force but an illusion caused by Earth’s upward acceleration. They believe that Earth is constantly accelerating upward at 32.2 feet per second squared (9.8 meters per second squared), which creates the sensation of gravity.

Some theorists argue that gravity is not a fundamental force but is instead caused by the density of objects. They believe that objects with higher density sink while objects with lower density rise, creating the illusion of gravity. And many often claim that the existence of gravity is part of that conspiracy cover-up. They argue that governments are hiding the true nature of gravity to maintain control and manipulate information.

6 The Infinite Plane Theory: An Endless Flat Expanse

Man launches himself in self-made rocket to prove flat Earth theory

According to this theory, Earth isn’t just flat. It also extends infinitely in all directions. Advocates argue that the horizon appears curved due to visual limitations and atmospheric refraction. They claim that exploring beyond the known regions would reveal new lands and uncharted territories.

The Infinite Plane Theory states that if Earth is flat, it must be considered infinite in size until proven otherwise. This means that Earth has no edges or boundaries and extends infinitely in all directions. Some flat Earth theorists point to biblical passages to support the idea of an infinite Earth. They interpret verses such as Job 38:18, which mentions the “breadth of the Earth,” as evidence of an Earth with no edges or boundaries. Many people disagree with this theory, but if you’ve ever driven through Iowa, you’ll get a sneak peek into what an “infinite plane” Earth would feel like.

5 The Alternative Space Theory: A Different Perspective on Space

10 Universe Theories That Will Keep You Up at Night

Flat Earth proponents propose an alternative understanding of space. They contend that space is not an infinite vacuum but rather an expansive plane with other celestial bodies revolving around the Earth. This theory challenges the widely accepted model of our universe and its interconnectedness.

One prominent category within the Alternative Space Theory is modified gravity theories. These theories attempt to modify or extend Einstein’s theory of general relativity to explain phenomena such as the accelerated expansion of the universe without the need for dark energy or dark matter. One example of a modified gravity theory is Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND), which suggests that the laws of gravity change at low accelerations.

Another aspect of Alternative Space is the concept of cyclic universe theories. These theories propose that the universe undergoes cycles of expansion and contraction, with each cycle beginning with a “big bounce” instead of a singular Big Bang event. These theories aim to address the question of what happened before the Big Bang and provide an alternative explanation for the origin and evolution of the universe.

Multiverse theories are also considered part of the Alternative Space Theory. These theories propose the existence of multiple universes or a “multiverse” beyond our observable universe. They suggest that our universe is just one of many universes with different physical laws and properties.

4 The Sun and Moon Theory: A Unique Celestial Dance

Flat Earth believers question the mainstream explanation of the sun and moon as distant celestial objects. They argue they are much closer to Earth and move in a circular pattern above the flat plane. This alternative perspective challenges our understanding of celestial mechanics.

According to this theory, the sun and moon are only a few thousand miles away from Earth and are much smaller than mainstream science suggests. Flat Earth theorists also believe the sun and moon are flat disks rather than spherical objects. They argue that this explains why they both appear to be the same size in the sky.

Theorists also believe that our moon is not illuminated by the sun’s light but is self-illuminating. They argue that this explains why the moon appears to emit its own light and why the sun appears to be brighter than it should be. Do you think the moon can project its own light?

3 The Gravity-Defying Theory: A World without Falling Objects

Flat Earth Society Says Round Planet, Gravity Are Fake

One peculiar flat Earth theory suggests that objects don’t fall due to gravity but rather experience an upward force called “Universal Acceleration.” This concept challenges Newton’s laws of motion and requires an unconventional interpretation of the forces acting upon objects in our daily lives.

Some flat Earth theorists argue that gravity is not a fundamental force but is instead explained by the concepts of density and buoyancy. They believe that objects with higher density sink while objects with lower density rise, creating the illusion of gravitational attraction. Others propose that gravity is actually an electromagnetic force rather than a fundamental force of nature. They suggest that Earth has a magnetic field that interacts with objects, causing them to be attracted or repelled.

2 The Perspective and Horizon Theory: Visual Tricks of a Flat Earth

Flat Earth vs. Round Earth | Explorer

Flat Earth theorists propose that the perceived curvature of the horizon and the disappearing ship phenomenon can be attributed to visual distortions rather than the Earth’s curvature. They argue that perspective, atmospheric conditions, and limitations of human vision create the illusion of a curved horizon.

According to them, perspective depends on the way light behaves and the limitations of human perception. Theorists also reject the idea that the horizon results from Earth’s curvature. The horizon appears flat because the Earth is flat. They believe that the horizon is an optical illusion.

1 The Alternative GPS Theory: Navigating a Flat Earth

The First Flat Earth Conference Was Packed With People From Around The Globe

Flat Earth proponents question the accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its reliance on satellite technology. They propose alternative explanations for GPS functionality, such as ground-based towers or hidden mechanisms, claiming that GPS operates on a local scale rather than a global one. They believe that cell phone towers help to communicate those signals, and the towers are used to manipulate people’s movements and locations.

Some flat Earth theorists argue that GPS is a hoax and does not actually work at all. Meanwhile, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that GPS is a reliable and accurate system that uses satellite signals to determine location and time.

Will you be deleting Google Maps and going back to a traditional atlas?

fact checked by Rachel Jones