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SpaceX via AP

Flat-earth advocate knocks rocket landing as 'propaganda'

By Robynn Garfield, KSL.com Contributor  |  Posted Jun 9th, 2016 @ 8:12pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A few thousand years ago, before the dawn of the industrial age and Twitter, a Greek philosopher was the first to postulate that the earth might be, in fact, round.

The debate between whether the earth is round or flat raged through the ages, being tried with geometry and algebra until it rolled into the era when explorers began sailing around the earth and realized that to sail around something, that thing has to be round.

Now, in the 21st century, the question of round versus flat has pretty much been answered (spoiler alert: it’s round). Or has it?

A recent YouTube video published by a man claiming to be part of the flat-earther group has garnered over a million views and trotted out an argument most of us thought was long-since decided: is the earth round or flat?

YouTube user RussianVids takes footage from the recent SpaceX rocket landing and hyper-analyzes each second, claiming the footage is a complete fake.

“I understand people want to believe [the earth being round] is real,” RussianVids said in his video, “...but this is not reality.”

Referring to what he calls the “Ball earth conspiracy,” or the notion that the earth is indeed flat and it’s round status is a vast lie by thousands of politicians, scientists, pilots, sailors and seagulls, RussianVids goes on to sum up the rocket’s landing and subsequent footage as nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

“All it is is propaganda,” RussianVids said. “It’s ball-earth propaganda.”

Since the video’s release, thousands have taken to the internet to react to the video and share their insights into how we as a population can prove the earth is flat.

Online news conglomerate Reddit user Annieone23 suggested an easy, do-at-home test for anyone still trying to figure out the earth’s shape.

“Why doesn't this guy just buy a weather balloon or a powerful DIY rocket and attach a gopro to it?” Annieone23 suggested. “We see videos like that all the time now. It would probably cost him well under a grand, and he'd have tangible proof for himself one way or the other."

PBS released an article in January outlining seven other easy experiments people can do at home for little or no cost to prove to themselves that the earth is round. For example, if you live in a place where the sun sets on a long, low horizon (like at the beach), simply watch the setting sun while laying down on your back. As the last of the light dips below the horizon, jump up and you’ll be able to see the sun reappear for another few moments.

However you figure it out, if you are in the camp of the flat-earthers, consider taking an afternoon to try out a few of these experiments. Who knows? Maybe it will change your world.


Robynn Garfield

About the Author: Robynn Garfield

Robynn Garfield worked as a staff writer for KSL.com before relocating to the Bay Area with her husband and three young sons. She currently works as a freelance writer and digital media consultant. Robynn started her career in journalism as a radio news anchor. In her spare time Robynn can be found sewing, hiking, or playing at the beach with her family. Contact her at robynn.garfield@gmail.com or visit her website.

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