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A Myth Busted

We grow up hearing or being taught myths.  We believe them.  But they aren’t true and a little effort can prove they aren’t true and never were.  One of the most prevalent is that of the:


This is a photo taken by Pandaslol of the Lunar Eclipse of 2010.  Lunar Eclipses are not uncommon and have been seen all through history. It is clear from the image that the moon is round like a ball, not flat like a dinner plate.

So where did the idea that the Earth was Flat and one would fall off the ‘edge’ come from?

Columbus certainly knew the Earth was round.  He knew if he went West he would reach the ‘East’. He knew this as did everyone else.

Way back in the Third Century B.C.E. a chap called Eratosthenes,  the Librarian of Alexandria wrote a treatise On the Measurement of the Earth in which he gave a figure for the Earth’s circumference of 250,000 stadia. 

He knew the Earth was round like a ball. His figures were very close to the actual circumference of the Earth, but other persons, like Ptolemy, thought the Earth was about half the size.

For thousands and thousands of years, people knew the Earth was round.  So where did the idea of ‘Flat Earth’ come from?

The earliest mention of ‘Flat Earth’ comes from the writing of Washington Irvine.



Washington Irvine was a writer, most well known for Rip Van Winkle and the Headless Horseman. He had written a story about Columbus.  He had invented the idea that everyone thought the Earth was Flat and Columbus went to prove it was not.

What he wrote was complete fiction, but people believed it.  People repeated it.  People assumed it was true, and for some twisted reason, thousands of years of knowledge, and clear proof was pushed one side, and the myth has taken over.

What do you think?

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Written by jaylar

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