“I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat.” -Shaquille O’Neal
Perhaps the reason so many of us don’t quite believe the Earth is round is because we can’t directly see it for ourselves. At any point we happen to be on the Earth’s surface, when we look around in all directions, it appears to be flat. On his great sea voyage, Magellan and his crew never once perceived the Earth to be round, yet they circumnavigated the entire globe after enough distance had been traveled.
As ships sail farther away, a larger fraction of their hulls, sails and masts become obscured by the horizon, due to the curvature of the Earth. Image credit: stealth_sly of Pixabay.
Shaq may never have noticed the Earth’s curvature at any point along his I-10 drive from Florida to California, but if he had just gone a little farther — into ...