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What if the Earth was flat?


esmith

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A common misconception is that Christopher Columbus discovered that the Earth was round, and that, before then, people all thought it was flat. Actually, a round Earth has been widely acknowledged and accepted in the scientific community since the days of Ancient Greece. But what if the Earth actually was flat? For starters, we would have to throw out most of the laws of physics as we know them, as a disk as massive as the Earth would collapse into a ball under its own gravity. But if somehow the large ball we live on were actually a disk, things would be slightly different. Although life near the center of the disk would be pretty normal, once one began to head out toward the edge, things would become strange. The biggest change would be that gravity, instead of pulling straight down, would pull toward the center of the disk at a greater and greater angle the farther one walked out toward the edge. This would make it seem like the Earth was actually parabolic, as the ground would become steeper and steeper relative to the direction of gravity. This would mean that, contrary to popular belief, it would be impossible to fall off the edge of the world. Once one got to the edge, they would be able to walk on it, as it would be a level surface. Then one could proceed to walk on the underside of the Earth-disk and experience an easier downhill walk back toward the center. A flat Earth would likely make everything very difficult, especially transportation. Cities would have to be built at an angle depending on their latitude in order to make seemingly level streets. In a way, a round Earth is flatter than a disk Earth, and it is certainly easier to live on.

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