The year 2020 will be bringing us a new decade, an American presidential election, and a cruise for people who believe Earth is flat.
Although details are currently thin on the ground, the cruise is being organised by the Flat Earth International Conference, and promises to be “the biggest, boldest, best adventure yet”.
Well, we can hope that the people crewing the boat aren’t also flat-Earthers – otherwise the navigation could get a little tricky.
“Ships navigate based on the principle that the Earth is round,” Henk Keijer, a former cruise ship captain and a forensic marine expert explained to Adam Gabbatt at The Guardian.
“Nautical charts are designed with that in mind: that the Earth is round.”
Nowadays ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and the latest in electronic navigational equipment.
“A modern navigational system, which is called an ECDIS, an Electronic Chart Display and Information System, really gives great improvement in navigational safety,” explained University of Southern Mississippi hydrographer Max van Norden back in 2012 in an interview with NPR.
“It automatically plots the position of the ship … with GPS.”
So, has anyone told the flat-Earthers that GPS can pinpoint your position – and therefore keep a cruise on course – thanks to a network of satellites that orbit Earth?
The internet has had a field day with the news about this boat journey, and to be honest, we really can’t blame them – it’s a hilarious concept.
Saw you guys were having a cruise! You know navigational systems are based on globular earth right? 😂 pic.twitter.com/qXuHQOBOAU
— Mountain Buddha (@mountnbuddha) January 10, 2019
Who’ll have the last laugh if they fall off the edge? https://t.co/xevm3scl6M
— Jason Jawando (@jasondj) January 10, 2019
According to the Flat Earth Wiki though (yes, that’s a thing) any potential holiday makers shouldn’t be worried about falling off the plane of the Earth – instead the barrier of Antarctica should stop them before they get to the edge.
“The Earth is in the form of a disk with the North Pole in the centre and Antarctica as a wall around the edge,” the Wiki explains.
Let’s just not ask them to explain how the land they’re travelling to will rise from below the horizon.
Actually, come to think of it, without modern navigation or GPS, they might be out there for a long time. Hmmmm.
And, if you’re wondering what can possibly be learned at a flat-Earther convention, one scientist recently took that bullet.