Standing on practically any place on the surface of the Earth you could never tell that our planet was any other shape but flat. It’s no wonder then that for many years the people of Earth thought that it was the shape of our planet, that there was an edge from which you could fall over if you reached it, an edge where oceans plummet into oblivion and the ground just stops. But for a modern man, imagining such a picture seems maybe even more impossible than some other scenarios. There are waterfalls and steep cliff on the planet, but there’s always something beyond them. And though Christopher Columbus might not have proved one could reach India from Europe as easily as he anticipated, he did prove that the Earth wasn’t flat. The future would prove that it was also neither spherical, nor in hydrostatic equilibrium, nor even egg-shaped but round, nearly a perfect sphere. However, it’s only possible to see if we abandon the Earth’s surface for high enough. As usual we need to distance ourselves just enough to be able to see the full picture. Only if you travel far enough you are able to measure the dimensions of the Earth, its true shape and curves, imperfections and the entire hemisphere and even its rotation on its axis. However, we would have to travel quite far to be able to see it. Is that really an option?
How many of us have ever traveled to space? How many of us ever will? Can we truly believe what we can’t see with our own two eyes? The Earth is round, though, because there are some things that wouldn’t occur if the Earth was flat. Here are five of them.
- Lunar Eclipses at different time of day
The Earth’s shadow during a lunar eclipse is almost a perfect circle and anyone can see it every day. This wouldn’t be like that if the Earth was flat. Depending on where on Earth you are lunar eclipses occur at all times. The Sun rays cast different shadows at noon on different places on the surface of the Earth.
- Different seasons
When it’s summer in the United States it’s winter in Australia, right? And vice versa. Not all parts of the Earth have the same climate at the same time. Why do you think this is so? Well the Sun rays hit Earth at different angles during different parts of the year since the Earth is round. Every country on the planet would experience the same season and weather conditions if the Earth were flat because the Sun rays would fall on every inch of the Earth’s surface at the same angle.
- Different stars visible at the time
You can’t see the same stars from all parts of the Earth. For example from the South Pole you can only see Alpha Centauri, the Magellanic Clouds and the Southern Cross. Yet you can see none of those stars if you are located on most of the northern hemisphere. The flat Earth would enable all inhabitants of the Earth to see the same sky on the night side of the Earth.
- You cannot see Kawaikini from the peak of Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea is the highest peak of Hawaii from which you can see for miles since there’s nothing but the ocean surrounding it. Kawaikini is the peak of the island of Kauai and the seventh highest point in the Hawaiian islands. There are 303 miles between Mauna Kea and Kawaikini, but still you cannot see one from the other, which makes no sense if you consider the Earth to be flat. The curvature of the Earth hides one peak from the other.
- The Sun set and rises at different time of the day
Depending on your longitude the Sun set and rises at a different time. For example, people in Washington and the people in San Francisco do not get up, have breakfast and go to work at the same time, even though they all have to get to work at the same time. It’s only natural that the people rise with the Sun, or somewhat later, but the daylight doesn’t come at the same moment for all of the inhabitants of the planet. The same way, we do not all go to bed at the same time, because the dark doesn’t set in at the same moment. We would all see the Sun at the same position on the sky at the same part of the day if the Earth were flat.
There are a lot of phenomena that explain that the Earth is not flat even without traveling to space or flying extremely high or conducting advanced scientific experiments. These are only some of them. If the Earth were flat, lunar eclipses would always happen at midnight, there would be the same season everywhere on Earth, every person could see the same stars regardless of their location on the night side of the planet, all high mountain peaks would be visible from one another and sunrise and sunset would be at the same time for all people of the same side of the Earth.
This might convince the scarce number people who still believe that the Earth was flat. These empirical pieces of evidence should convince even the most stubborn. However, it’s a free planet, one can chose what to believe in.