A Planetary Conspiracy: The Flat Earth Quiz

SCIENCE

74 PLAYS

Staff

4 Min Quiz

What year did man first posit that Earth was a sphere?

Way back in 500 B.C.E., Pythagoras suggested that because the moon was round, Earth probably was too.

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True or false: Aristotle was a flat-earther.

More than 2,300 years ago, Aristotle believed that Earth was a sphere because of the way it cast a circular shadow on the moon during an eclipse.

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What did Greek mathematician Eratosthenes calculate for the first time?

Eratosthenes was the first to calculate the circumference — the distance around — Earth.

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True or false: Eratosthenes' estimate of Earth's circumference was surprisingly accurate.

The Greek mathematician estimated the circumference at 28,738 miles (46,249 kilometers) — pretty close to the actual measurement of 24,902 miles.

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Who wrote "Geography"?

Written in the 2nd century C.E., Ptolemy's "Geography" was an influential atlas and gazetteer in which the scientist considers Earth spherical.

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True or false: In the time of Columbus, most people believed the world was flat.

People in the 15th century knew the world was round. Columbus was more worried about the distance to the New World than the risk of a flat Earth.

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Who wrote "The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus"?

Irving's mostly fictitious book about Columbus helped spread the false rumor that Columbus believed Earth was flat.

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What 19th century "method" was founded by Samuel Birley Rowbotham?

Rowbotham founded the Zetetic method, an alternative to the scientific method that later became the foundation of the flat Earth movement.

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True or false: Earth is round due to gravity.

The pull of gravity gives Earth and other similar bodies their spherical shape.

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True or false: Earth bulges at the poles and is slightly flat at the equator.

The rotation of Earth causes it to bulge out at the equator and makes it slightly flattened at the poles.

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Who first suggested that Earth is squashed at the poles?

It was Isaac Newton who first suggested that Earth is not perfectly round but is instead flat at the poles and swollen along the equator.

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How much greater is the distance between Earth's core and its crust at the equator versus at the poles?

The distance between the center of Earth and sea level is 13 miles greater at the equator than at the poles thanks to the effects of gravity.

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When was the Flat Earth Society formed?

Samuel Shenton formed the Flat Earth Society during the 1950s. His friend, Charles Kenneth Johnson, took over as president upon Shelton's death.

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True or false: At its peak, the Flat Earth Society had more than a million members.

Membership in the Flat Earth Society hit its peak under Charles Johnson with 3,500 members. When he died in 2001, the group was down to fewer than 100 members.

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True or false: The Flat Earth Society claims that the moon landing was faked.

The society believes that all those space photos of a spherical Earth are faked — as was the moon landing itself.

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In a 1994 survey, what percentage of Americans claimed that the moon landing was faked?

More than 30 years after the moon landing, a full 9 percent of Americans still claimed that the event was completely staged.

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True or false: The Flat Earth Society claims that Earth is a disk floating in water.

Rather than a ball suspended in space, flat-earthers claim that Earth is actually a disk floating on water.

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What rapper made headlines when he tweeted about a flat Earth in 2016?

B.o.B. tweeted his flat Earth beliefs to his followers in early 2016 and met plenty of resistance from fans and the media.

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What scientist tried to educate B.o.B. about his flat Earth beliefs?

Neil deGrasse Tyson tried to explain the evidence behind a spherical Earth to B.o.B. before penning a rap to end the discussion once and for all.

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True or false: The Bible specifically says that Earth is flat.

While a passage in Isaiah refers to a "circular" Earth, there's no evidence that this circle is necessarily flat.

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Where was Flat Earth Society President Charles Johnson's wife from?

Marjory Johnson hailed from Australia and believed Earth was flat because she didn't have to hang onto the planet by here toes while upside down in her native country.

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What lies at the center of a flat Earth map?

In the standard map of flat Earth, the countries circle around the Arctic Circle at the center.

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True or false: According to the Flat Earth Society, NASA employees guard the "edges" of Earth.

The ice walls of Antarctica mark the borders of the planet, and NASA employees guard these walls to make sure no one climbs over.

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What would happen if someone climbed over the ice wall?

If you manage to climb the giant ice wall and sneak past the NASA guards, you would fall off the planet into the surrounding water.

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True or false: Flat-earthers agree with the average scientist that objects fall due to gravity.

Sorry science fans — It turns out that it isn't objects falling down, but Earth accelerating upward at 32 feet per square second (10 meters per square second).

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True or false: Flat-earthers claim that GPS units are rigged.

GPS is actually rigged to make a plane that's flying in circles above a disk appear to be flying in a line around Earth.

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Why did government and the media rig GPS units and fake the moon landing?

All evidence of the moon landing and photos taken from space were faked because it's just so much cheaper to fake these things than to actually land on the moon.

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True or false: Flat Earth Society's Daniel Shenton believes in global warming and evolution.

Shenton and some other flat-earthers don't deny all science, just the science behind spherical Earth.

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How many Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory?

Before you laugh at flat-earthers, keep in mind that half of all Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.

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True or false: One in four Americans still believe that the sun revolves around Earth.

Forget a flat Earth — 25 percent of Americans still believe in a geocentric universe.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Earth may appear round in photos, but are you sure those photos are real? Take our quiz to learn more about the flat Earth movement.

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