In the whole mix of conspiracy theories that spins around online, there is not another epic as the one of a flat Earth. Flat-earthers believe that the Earth is actually a flat disc surrounded by an icy wall.
However, 2017 was a big year for the flat Earth believers, who obtained celebrity supporters in pursuance of their theory and made their first conference.
Here are eight cases of conspiracy theories that were very famous during 2017:
1. Shaquille O’Neal against the round Earth
The most famous basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal announced online on his podcast that Earth is flat to him. Some days later, O’Neal said he was only messing around.
He said: “I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle and all that stuff about gravity. Have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? Is it China under us? It’s not. The world is flat.”
However, strong believers in a flat Earth didn’t take this statement for granted mainly because it came out from a prominent celebrity.
A quick check on the Flat Earth Society forums implies that some believers think Shaq was pressured into withdrawing his statement.
2. Rapper B.o.B crowdfunds a satellite
The rapper B.o.B is not famous only for his music. He also got into a verbal social media argument with physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson if the Earth is flat or round.
B.o.B advanced his profile even further making an effort to crowdfund his own spacecraft launch to convey a camera into space to identify the shape of the Earth.
Two months after the money raise plea was posted, B.o.B had collected $6,883 of his aim of $1 million. The first thousand dollars he donated himself.
3. Kyrie Irving gave a few statements himself
And another NBA player came forward with his attitude about the Earth’s shape. Namely, Kyrie Irving of the Celtics also mentioned a flat Earth in 2017.
As SB Nation reports, the player said the Earth is flat on a podcast this February; however, he apparently later said he was only trying to begin a discussion.
In September, CBS Boston asked him about the real meaning o his statement. He said they were just an “exploration tactic” and that people should do their own research.
In October, he said that he doubts whether the Earth pictures originating from space are real.
4. Solar eclipse feeds conspiracy theories
Solar eclipses are possibly the biggest obvious evidence that the Earth is round.
However, people who believe the Earth is flat got ‘crazy’ when the total solar eclipse on August 21 passed the United States.
According to Forbes, they claimed the west-to-east eclipse direction was very suspicious because the sun moves across the sky from east to west.
They also demonstrated, using flashlights and coins, that the moon’s shadow should have been larger than the moon itself.
The issue, in this case, is that the sun is a distant rather than near source of light, so the flashlight parallel doesn’t really match.
5. Homemade rocket launch fizzles
In November, flat Earth believer “Mad” (Mike Hughes) said he has an intention to lance himself 1,800 feet up the Mojave Desert in a steam-powered rocket he created from recovered parts. His homemade rocket cost $20,000.
Namely, his intent was to take an image of the absence of curves of the horizon and thus to prove the Earth is flat.
However, the curve of the horizon can’t be seen at least 35,000 feet, so it is not sure what “Mad” was trying to do.
Unfortunately, his little project was about to happen on a public land and the Bureau of Land Management rejected him.
6. Flat-Earthers are now meeting tete-a-tete
The Economist recently published that Google Trends data has a quite big interest in ‘flat earth’ as a search item.
Their first International Conference was held this year in Raleigh, North Carolina. Kryptoz media and the Creation Cosmology Institue hosted the event which had around 500 people.
7. Earth is flat and Mars is round
The designer of Space X, Elon Musk, tweeted something that attracted a response. He said: “Why is there no Flat Mars Society?!”
The Flat Earth Society responded itself, saying: “Hi Elon, thanks for the question. Unlike the Earth, Mars has been observed to be round. We hope you have a fantastic day!”
So, why does the Flat Earth Society believe in that Mars is round but the Earth isn’t?
The Flat Earth Society promotes a point of view where the sun rotates over the top of the disk of the Earth at a closer distance than the 93 million miles away that it actually is.
8. Another sports guy doubts the Earth’s shape
Not just basketball players, but cricket players started asking questions also. English cricket player, Freddie Flintoff made his appearance in the tabloid saying the Earth is flat or even maybe turnip-shaped.
He talked about his opinions on BBC Radio 5 podcast this November. Apparently, Flintoff wanted to know why the water in the ocean doesn’t shuffle if Earth is rushing into space.
We can give you the answer. It’s because Earth’s rotational speed is basically constant, releasing a slight slowdown of about 2 milliseconds per century. The oceans on the other hand move with this constant spin.
The cricket player said he got his ideas a flat-Earth podcast.