Over the last several years, the Flat Earth conspiracy has caught traction online as the rise of YouTube conspiracy channels has meant that anyone who suspects things aren’t what they seem can find an endless stream of content to reassure their suspicions – mostly with dubious and unverified claims, but hey, you do you. Flat Earth claims have risen up to the mainstream thanks to some outlandish statements made by pro athletes recently, particularly NBA players. What is it about basketball that leads people to put stock in Flat Earth claims?
I’ll let someone else ruminate on that one. The statements made by several NBA players were immediately and vehemently challenged across the web, but that did nothing to deter the Flat Earth International Conference from planning what they call their “biggest, boldest adventure yet.” The FEIC has organized a Flat Earth cruise for 2020, a cruise which no doubt will attempt to sail to the edge of the world or the Game of Thrones-esque Antarctic ice wall or whatever it is they think lies at the “end” of the world.
While the cruise is sure to attract all sorts of B-list and C-list celebrities looking to boost their brand by attaching themselves to this Flat Earth…thing, many members of the maritime community are already shaking their heads in disbelief at the irony of a Flat Earth cruise. Henk Keijer, a former captain who helmed cruise ships for over two decades, says all nautical navigation charts and GPS systems – the brains of any modern cruise ship – operate on the principle that the Earth is a sphere. If the Earth was flat, these charts and navigation systems would not work. “I have sailed 2 million miles, give or take,” Keijer told The Guardian, “and I have not encountered one sea captain who believes the Earth is flat.”
This one can only end hilariously. But who knows? Maybe the Flat Earthers will prove the entire scientific community wrong after all. Maybe their cruise ship will reach the edge and tumble right off, doing the rest of the world a solid favor in more ways than one. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony? The Flat Earth people would finally prove their point – by sailing off into oblivion. Let’s hope they live stream it.