With all the excitement we’ve seen leading up to today’s solar eclipse, there’s one group whose stance on the astronomical event I hadn’t stopped to consider: flat-earthers. For people who truly believe our planet is flat, what exactly happened today?
Over the last few years, there’s reportedly been a big increase in the number of people who believe the Earth is flat and unmoving, thanks in large part to social media and YouTube serving as an echo chamber for ideas. As the video above lays out, there are two basic camps the believers fall into: religious and non-religious. Both groups’ rejection of the round-earth model (what most of us just call “science”) seems to hinge on a mass international conspiracy.
As they see it, today’s eclipse fits into that conspiracy. Because as pretty much everyone but Donald Trump knew, the #1 rule today was DON’T LOOK AT THE SUN.
As he did this, someone in a crowd of aides below shouted “Don’t look.” pic.twitter.com/dtfSLEzcAZ
— Ted Mann (@TMannWSJ) August 21, 2017
As told by flat-earthers, this isn’t to protect our eyes, but rather to keep us from seeing “what’s really going on.” Which is … um … well, probably something pretty big, right?
Much, if not all of the flat earth theory seems to be based on failed attempts to recreate the workings of our solar system, as done by people who refuse to accept that celestial objects can be any different than a flashlight and volleyball. A YouTube search for “flat earth eclipse” brings up about 345,000 results, and the small portion I saw after falling down that rabbit hole all seem to use this as their central evidence: that astronomical forces should behave exactly like anything we can hold in our hands. If they don’t, they’re fake news.
As Alexis Kleinman says in the video, “It’s very hard to figure stuff out on your own if that stuff is the universe.”
(via Mic on Facebook, featured image: Shutterstock)
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