Recently, American rapper B.o.B announced that he believes the earth is not a sphere and is in fact flat and supplied us with a wealth of information to support his claim.
As rational and educated human-beings, we can laugh at this and dismiss it as either an elaborate hoax to promote himself or someone who really needed to spend more time in school. (Or maybe he just wants a free trip up to the ISS!)
The problem is he is someone with influence. As a rapper with four albums under his belt – one reaching number one in 2010 – people listen to him. He has 2.3 million followers on Twitter and looking at some of the comments to his flat earth “proof”, they believe him. How is it possible that people in 2016 can honestly believe the earth is flat?
Now, we could counteract his “proof” with scientific facts and links to hundreds of studies, videos, images etc, but we don’t have to. All we have to do to debunk this theory is to ask ourselves one question: what advantage do governments have in an elaborate hoax to make us believe we live on a sphere instead of a flat disc? America won the space race in 1969 against Russia and in the 1980s, we were in the midst of a cold war between the two nations. Surely when Russia made it to the moon they would expose this “lie” to shame their enemies? If not at the time then certainly when they had nuclear warheads pointed at each other.
Of all the people to travel to space, every aircraft pilot, every satellite controller, astronomer, scientist and go-pro enthusiast who send their cameras into the upper atmosphere – why would they all lie? Some of the greatest minds in history have confirmed we live on a sphere. The sheer force of gravity determines the shape of our world making it impossible for us to be on a disc floating through space.
I have looked through B.o.B’s twitter feed and unsurprisingly his “proof” is nothing of the sort. NASA cover-up with images from space corrected, the horizon not curving from a hill (does he not know how big the earth actually is?) and lots of ‘head hitting desk in despair’ quotes that make you question the education system in America.
This is all from the same guy who posted this:
since when is the Statue of Liberty NOT on Ellis Island
— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 17, 2016
Well known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson waded into the debate on twitter which turned into a rap battle between the two celebrities. Neil of course bringing hundreds of years of science, knowledge and understanding to the table and B.o.B bringing his low-res images and conspiracy theories.
Neil ended the battle triumphantly on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with a literal mic-drop moment.
Will B.o.B see the light (and the curve) and admit defeat? Unlikely. Alarmingly, B.o.B is only one of a growing number of FlatEarthers. People who adamantly believe the earth is flat. There are videos on YouTube and communities to join and discuss theories and beliefs with other people. And if you don’t have a rudimentary grasp on science (it’s not everyone’s strongest subject) some of their “evidence” is compelling and so well-crafted it can be believable. But if you feel yourself getting sucked into the flat earth theory remember what we said before: why would anyone want to hide this from you? What gain do governments have from such an elaborate hoax and if it’s B.o.B that has swayed you, why would you believe a rapper over a scientist?
If you’re still struggling, watch this video Vsauce made last year for YouTube. He simply explains why it is impossible for earth to be flat.
No, earth is not flat and when commercial space travel starts in the next few decades, all those flatearthers will be able to see the beautiful sphere we all live on for themselves.