Thursday, December 31, 2020

Inept Flat-Earthers Fail Spectacularly

This is not really a paranormal or religious story, but since it has to do with the conspiracy theory that the Earth really is flat and this fact is being covered up by powerful forces, it came across my Augoeides radar. It also is pretty darn funny, which is always a good way to close out the year. Recently a flat-earther couple in Italy decided that it would be a good idea to sail to the edge of the world. Presumably without falling off.

Many flat-earthers believe that the edge of the world is Antarctica and that what every reasonable person calls Antarctic ice sheets are really a giant ice wall keeping everything from falling off the edge. At one point, I covered a proposed flat-earth reality tv show that would send people across Antarctica looking for the non-existent edge - which would be absolutely hilarious to watch.

But these folks apparently believed that the edge was near Sicily, which is kind of like me living in Minnesota and posting that the Earth is flat and the edge is "somewhere over in Wisconsin." What convinced them of this ridiculous idea is completely beyond me.

Despite Italy's lockdown, a couple from Venice recently set out to prove Earth's flatness once and for all by sailing to the edge of the world, which they believed to be somewhere near Sicily. It's amazing how people who live locally never visit famous tourist attractions, like the leaning tower of Piza or the edge of the Earth where the sea meets the infinite void.

"The two left the Veneto during the lockdown for Lampedusa, violating all restrictions," Salvatore Zichichi of the Maritime Health Office of the Ministry of Health told Italian newspaper La Stampa. "In Termini Imerese they sold their car and bought a boat. For them, Lampedusa [an island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea] was the end of the Earth."

The trip, always destined to end in disappointment, hit some snags immediately. Firstly, if you're planning on taking a trip to the very edge of the world, this year, when most of the world has been ordered by law to stay at home, perhaps wasn't the best one to choose.

Using a compass (a navigation system that relies on the principle that the Earth is not a pancake), the couple set off in their boat and attempted to navigate their way through the Pelagie Islands to reach Lampedusa, La Republica reports. You probably won't be surprised to learn that a couple that sold their car in order to reach the end of the world perhaps hadn't thought things through, however, and they soon found themselves lost, tired, and washed up on the island of Ustica instead.

Since the global pandemic is still on, the couple was placed in quarantine by health officials, but in their determination to find the edge they escaped and sailed away once more, possibly figuring the police's authority ends where the rim meets the vacuum of space. They were caught three hours later.

So no, they didn't find the edge. This shouldn't be even a little surprising as an enormous amount of global trade is conducted between nations on the Mediterranean Sea and places that are across oceans well beyond Sicily. How are all those ships supposed to cross the edge? Teleporters? And that doesn't even take into account planes. Pilots would surely at least see the edge, as the airspace over Europe and the Mediterranean is pretty busy.

But I suppose if the ridiculous amount of evidence proving that the world is round won't convince these folks, why shouldn't they think it would be near Sicily? If you're going to buy into a delusion, you might as well go all the way. "Hey, wanna know something? The Earth is flat. I can prove it, because the edge is in my closet. Take a look, it's right there. Don't fall off!"

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