Supporters of the flat-earth theory are growing in number despite the photographic evidence from space and a spherical globe that has been postulated since the 5th Century BC by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
According to data from Google Trends, in the past two years, searches for “flat earth” have more than tripled. There’s also a growing number of high-profile celebrities who have endorsed the theory. In November, a self-taught rocket “scientist” constructed a home-made rocket out of scrap metal in order to prove astronauts lied about Earth being flat.
Identified as “Mad Mike” Hughes, the scientists planned to launch himself 1,800 feet and fly through the air at 500mph in his steam-powered vessel made of scrap metal. However, he had to abandon the launch after the US Bureau of Land Management reportedly stopped him from using public land.
The sellout Flat Earth International Conference (FEIC) attracted hundreds of fanatics who were discussing everything from “NASA lies” to 9/11 conspiracies. The fanatics of this flat-earth theory claim that NASA lied to the public by concealing a stationery flat plaet. The community suspects the planet is a circular disk shape that relies on Antarctica to provide an icy wall barrier.
They also believe that the ice barrier is meant to prevent humans from walking off the edge of earth. According to Flat-Earther Mark Sargent told the BBC: "Nobody likes this uncomfortable feeling to be in this tiny ball, flying through space in this vast endless universe.
"So as far as what's underneath this, I don't know, it could be this thickness.
"It doesn't even have to be that think, because we can only drill down eight miles. Heck, this is only fifty miles deep, we don't know. So, it could be this sort of dimension.
"Don't take my word for it, I could be a mental patient recently released from an institution."
Interest in the flat-Earth theory spiked when NBA player Kyrie Irving said in a podcast that he believed the Earth is flat.
Rapper Bobby Ray Simmons Jr, otherwise known as B.o.B, launched a crowd-funding campaign to send satellites into orbit to determine the Earth’s shape. Tila Tequila has also said she thinks the planet is flat. The outlandish theory has also been supported by UK celebrity Freddie Flintoff. On his BBC Radio 5 show, that he co-hosts with Robbie Savage and Matthew Syed, Freddie Flintoff had previously said he thought the moon landings could have been staged.
Associate professor of political science at the University of Miami and co-author of the 2014 book American Conspiracy Theories, Joseph Uscinski, said: “Conspiracy theories are for losers.
“People who have lost an election, money or influence look for something to explain that loss.”