Jan 12, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Some Flat Earthers are Switching to the Donut Earth Theory

If you’ve ever tried to convince a Flat Earth believer that the Earth is round, you know what an impossible task that is … not even sharing a pizza and a cheese ball during the ‘discussion’ (if you’re so lucky to keep it at that level) will persuade them. Perhaps you were using the wrong props. A small but growing segment of Flat Earthers are slowly converting … not to rounders but to the Donut Earth Theory. Were they flipped after dining on donuts and donut holes?

“I postulate that the Earth is shaped like a doughnut. The "ice-wall" known as Antarctica and the Arctic meet in the middle and are essentially the same. The equator is on the outer extremity of our doughnut planet. What do you think?


I used advanced scaled astrophysical professional academic software to make a model of the geo-doughnut, the tastiest celestial body, our sugar-glazed planet Earth.”

The Donut Earth Theory popped up this week on a number of media sites – which seems strange since 2022 is far from being a slow news year. The theory seems to originate in 2008 on the Flat Earth Society forum where it was proposed by a Dr. Rosenpenis. Advanced trivia players should recognize that name as an alias used by Chevy Chase as Irwin Fletch in the movie “Fletch.” There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the name or the movie and the Donut Earth Theory … other than they’re all a joke. Yes, Dr. Rosenpenis is an alias in the Flat Earth world too and the ruse was eventually revealed. However … some frustrated Flat Earthers seemed to like it and kept the theory alive. Is Homer Simpson one of them?

photo 1596470778652 536211c85639
Mmmm ... donuts!

"I have a theory that the Earth is in fact shaped like a torus (a donut-shape). However, light is curved so we cannot tell."

Homer would undoubtedly think ‘torus’ was a car – the Torus-Earth variation comes from ‘Varaug’ on the Flat Earth forum, who takes a scientific approach to explaining things like ‘night and day’ on a donut Earth.

“Lay a torch horizontal on a table and turn it on. Now, get a donut and place it on it's side, with the hole perpendicular to the torch. The side that is illuminated by the torch is in day. Over 24 hours, the donut performs one complete revolution. Spin it half way around, this signifies the passing of 12 hours. Now, the side that WAS in day, is facing away from the torch and is in night. The side that WAS in night, is now facing the torch and is in day.”

Before you go all ‘Fermi Paradox’ on this (“If the Earth is a donut, why don’t we see any other donut planets?"), Discovery.com addressed the subject back in 2019 and proved that a donut/toroid Earth would not break any laws of physics but it might not be stable. To keep the hole from collapsing, it would have to rotate at an extremely high rate to balance gravity on the outside and the inside – making a ‘day’ just a few Earth hours. Those odd gravitational forces would make a person’s weight vary at different locations, and the high-speed rotation would cause massive weather problems. We have neither of those so that proves Earth is not a donut. Right, Donut Earthers?

“It is possible for two objects to orbit each other. Now, it is also possible to have 3 objects orbiting each other, or 4, or 5 etc. Now, the TE (Toroid Earth) was formed when a large amount of objects orbited each other like this. As time went on, their gravity pulled in more space rocks and dust etc and the shape grew, eventually becoming a fully-formed torus.”


“(There are no other donut planets) because the condition for a TE (Toroid Earth) to form (several objects orbiting each other rather than a large mass in the middle) is quite unlikely to occur, and becomes much more unlikely each time more objects are required in the orbit. This makes torus-shaped planets very rare, and so far we are yet to discover another one.”

Are we sure one of these Donut Earthers isn’t Homer Simpson?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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