More Round Earth Observations

2년 전

Since been involved in a couple of recent flat earth debates I’ve been more conscious of making observations of the horizon when the chance arises. A good opportunity arose on Saturday when I did a short detour over Tamborine Mountain in Queensland, Australia, which gives spectacular views of Australias Gold Coast from an elevation of 520m (1700 feet). While Admiring the view I noticed the horizon almost matched the tops of the buildings as you can see in this image I captured.

The building in the center which doesn’t quite reach the horizon is the “Soul” Building at 243m. At the right-hand side is the Q1 building which reaches 322m at the top of the spire, with the roofline reaching around 260m or so. Both buildings are very close to the waterline so the bases are perhaps 5m or so above sea level. Incidentally, these are the same buildings shown in my previous article but shown from the other side.  The camera elevation is 515m with the distance to Q1 being 23.6km.


So why is it interesting that the horizon matches the tops of the buildings? The reason is that on flat earth the horizon would have appeared well above the tops of the buildings because the camera elevation (515m) was at nearly double the building tops. Hence we must be looking down towards the horizon, something that can’t happen on flat earth where the edge is 1000’s of km distant.  Here is the image processed to show the horizon better (by extracting just the red channel, and boosting contrast).

The following diagram shows the viewing geometry.

Using this geometry and Similiar triangle it is easy to show that if the earth was flat the horizon would appear much higher than the tops of the buildings. Even if the “Edge” of the flat earth were just 100km from the camera, the horizon would have still appeared higher than the 322m mast of the Q1 tower (which it clearly doesn’t). Having flown over the Ocean in that direction towards New Zealand I can vouch for that edge would have to be over 3000km away, and therefore a flat earth horizon would have to appear at a level close to twice as high as the buildings.

So this is where the horizon would appear in the images if the earth was flat. I’ve used an edge filter to bring out the edges in the image. But I think you can see that the observed horizon is much too low for a flat earth, so clearly the earth is dropping away in the distance.  Technically, this does not prove the earth is a globe (just supports it) but precludes flat earth.


Here is the more standard view, showing where the theoretical flat earth horizon should appear.


A common argument that would be used by flat earth proponents is that refraction is altering the position of the horizon. The problem with this argument, however, is that refraction will actually make the horizon appear higher than it is. Therefore, if I had factored atmospheric refraction in the above diagram the flat earth horizons would appear even higher than shown.  In reality on a flat earth, there would be no horizon, as atmospheric extinction would mean there would be no clear distinction between the sky and ground.

In conclusion, it is very easy to confirm the earth is not flat using just your own eyes and armed with some basic geometry knowledge.

Further Viewing

  1. This observation was inspired by observations made in the UK Miles Davis.  Please go to his youtube page Here .
  2. The work by @skeptropolis , Jesse Koslowski and Walter Bislin who used GPS to confirm the earth's radius over Lake Pontchartrain. Click  here .

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The picture is clearly photoshopped, you must be an agent of the reptilian Freemason Illuminati world elite, trying to convince us that the Earth is round to take all of our money. Also, there's an UFO behind that cloud on the left.

Seriously though, it's amazing that there are still flat earthers in 2019, some people really like to contradict everyone.


Oh yeh. the conspiracy goes deep. Still waiting for my NASA shill money, if they don't hurry up I'll release the non-photoshopped images!

Flat earthers are my "dearest" friends. No matter what you bring them as an argument, they just don't accept it. You always hear from them just the example with the ship on the sea (at least here in Germany, maybe they have other "proofs" in Australia).
It's as easy to see as it really is. SpaceX has a rocket launch almost every month, where you can see the curvature of the earth.
They also claim that only the earth is round. What about the other planets? May they be round and only the earth may be flat?
My favorite on German Youtube was "vegan und lecker". Unfortunately, the channel was deleted, maybe he fell over the edge of the earth? Who knows :-D


Some of the best Globe earth proofs are actually from flat earther youtubers. One flat earther regularly posts videos from a Nikon P900 showing ships going over the horizon. Once you start looking into the flat earth culture, you realise that at least 50% know the earth is round but for whatever reason (money, youtube views, trolling) post flat earth "proofs".


What ever pays the bills I guess. Unfortunately spreading disinformation is damaging to society.


I'm afraid that's true. Everything is exploited for its own advantage and with a bit of luck, there will be a few (or even many) stupid followers who will spread the word.


This is the problem with this, and I think it is worth calling out. Flat earth belief may not be a great problem to society (most people see it as entertainment) but there are other false beliefs that can potentially cost lives.


Yep, that's pretty much the Crux of it. It breeds a culture of distrust of factual information that flows over into other topics.


Sadly true, through your in-depth "analyses" their uncover much more evidence for a spherical shape than for their own view. But all this is suppressed, concealed or simply interpreted differently.
I also think it's just about clicks, trolling and public attention

This is unfortunately in German, but maybe the google translator can do it. Unfortunately, a lot of humor and sarcasm will be lost.

If he's not smarter than the rest of humanity. :-D
Btw. youtube is full of videos with action cams on weather balloons so he doesn't need to put himself to an altitude of 68 miles in an balloon.


I think one thing positive is that watching the debates with flat-earthers (and other beliefs) is that you learn a lot about logical fallacies and how they are employed to win arguments. I recently saw a debate between an (alleged) scientist and a flat-earther and the scientist didn't do so well because he seemed unable to deal with the tactics that came his way including the use of logical fallacies.

The way these fallacies are employed is one of the reasons I think at least 50% don't believe in flat earth themselves and are just trying to get attention.

Pffff... Horizont is just a social construct. You can't objectively verify it :D


Yes I know, we've just been indoctrinated by evidence from a young age :)

Flat earthers don't seem to be too active on Steemit lately (perhaps the price of steem is too low), but I always enjoy a nice rebuke of their ridiculousness. Nice work!


Thanks @tking77798 ! I just updated the article with a link that shows GPS data
over Lake Pontchartrain Causeway confirming the earth's radius to within 1% of the textbook 6371km value.

Hi terrylovejoy, I have not heard of flat earthers, how interesting. I am convinced that the earth is round but good to have other opinions and ideas.


Really, you need other "opinions and ideas" how your home planet is shaped?


Hi @angiemitchell thanks for dropping by and commenting :)

You are right, I think it is healthy to challenge ideas, even well-established ones like the shape of the earth. However, what can happen is that some people will reject evidence based on their own narrative and this is not so healthy

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