The Edge of the Earth

When I was a child, at about 5 – 9 years old, I imagined a lot about the world. I had some sort of ideas about how the world looks like. I was totally curious and interested to know what was beyond my sight. I felt there is something about this world that everyone around me doesn’t seem to give attention.

I always imagined that there must be an edge of the earth that we have not explored yet. I thought we were living inside the earth – like inner earth. I imagined everyone falling into the sky (gravity losing its power) especially when I climbed trees. I had some strange feeling that I was someone else or having the life of someone living inside me, or making expressions of his past life’s memory or knowledge through me. Each time I followed my dad to a river, I felt there was some kind of connection between the water and the sky each time I observe the reflection of the sky on it. It scares me so much that I was afraid to look at it for too long. I get drawn to it in a way I can’t control. There must be something about this world I need to know – my quest.

I believed or imagined that the edge of the world would have a wall straight up to the sky so things would not fall endlessly through it when they get there. I imagined there must be a part of the earth with endless depth (or to say bottomless pit). I imagined there is life down deep into the earth that I walked on and if we can dig deep into the earth, we would find that life inside (people living deep inside).

I am sure you can relate with some weird imaginations when you were a kid too. You can share some you can remember in the comment.

While growing up, getting acquainted with the way things are through education, these imaginations were gradually fading away. The school systems began to indoctrinate me from such imaginations about the world. I was taught to accept whatever we were told in school. The knowledge from school gradually changed my view about the world, as it were. The world is spherical, not having an edge as I once imagined. I should examine the moon, the sun, and all planetary bodies – they all are round so the earth, therefore, must be round without edges. My mind or imaginations must agree to what my senses can perceive or everything within my observations. This is the reality, at least, the reality everyone relates with and can understand. If you act on or think about anything outside what everyone can observe or anything the senses cannot grasp, you are CRAZY!

I believe the moment you saw the title of this article, you must have that same reaction – that another MADMAN or weirdo has started posting NONSENSE. I tell you, nobody wants to discuss or read such things or topics. We have all been indoctrinated into a common knowledge and we abhor the otherwise. I hardly say much whenever am around people because each time I voice my thoughts and observations, the expressions on their faces say it all.

I still agitate for the TRUE knowledge about my world. I am scientific in nature. I am in search of the key of knowledge. I want to know, understand and be able to explain the mysteries of our world. I studied Physics for that very reason. My curiosity is stronger than the knowledge presented to me in schools. I realized that they only tried to indoctrinate us into a false knowledge. They are hiding something from us. I have woken up. I want others to wake up too. You have to question everything! The knowledge you have been presented with, since your elementary days, have been contaminated with deceptions.

Brief History of the Shape of the Earth

The shape of the earth first raised concern in the 5th century BC. The flat earth model of the earth’s shape as a disc was an old concept about the shape of the earth. They described the earth as the shape of a flat disc floating on the ocean. Many ancient cultures including Greece accepted the model until the classical period (5th and 4th centuries BC).

The Israelites also believed the earth to be a flat disc floating on water and that an arched firmament separated the Earth from the heavens. The sky was seen as a solid dome with the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars embedded in it.

Several early Greek philosophers before the time of Socrates (a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy), believed that the world was flat. Belief in a flat Earth continued into the 5th century BC.  Archelaus believed that the flat Earth was depressed in the middle like a saucer, to allow for the fact that the Sun does not rise and set at the same time for everyone.

Historians including Hecataeus of Miletus believed the earth was flat and surrounded by water. The ancient Norse and Germanic peoples believed in a flat Earth cosmography with the Earth surrounded by an ocean. Ancient China believed that the Earth was flat and square, while the heavens were round, a belief which prevailed until the introduction of European astronomy in the 17th century.

Pythagoras in the 6th century BC and Parmenides in the 5th century stated that the Earth is spherical, and this view spread rapidly in the Greek world. Around 330 BC, Aristotle maintained on the basis of physical theory and observational evidence that the Earth was spherical, and reported on an estimate on the circumference. Aristotle provided evidence for the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds by around 330 BC. Knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on.

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NASA’s Model of the Earth

Today, scientists use geodesy, which is the science of measuring Earth’s shape, gravity and rotation. Geodesy provides accurate measurements that show Earth is round. Pictures from space also show Earth is round like the moon. Earth looks like a blue marble with white swirls and areas of brown, yellow, green and white. The blue is water, which covers about 71 percent of Earth’s surface (the reason it is called blue planet). The white swirls are clouds. The areas of brown, yellow and green are land. And the areas of white are ice and snow.

Even though our planet is a sphere, it is not a perfect sphere. Because of the force caused when Earth rotates, the North and South Poles are slightly flat. Earth’s rotation, wobbly motion, and other forces are making the planet change shape very slowly, but it is still round. Since the Earth is flattened at the poles and bulges at the Equator (an imaginary circle that divides Earth into two halves), geodesy represents the figure of the Earth as an oblate spheroid. The oblate spheroid, or oblate ellipsoid, is an ellipsoid of revolution obtained by rotating an ellipse about its shorter axis.

Who gave the name ‘Earth’ is not known. The name is derived from both English and German words, ‘eor(th)e/ertha‘ and ‘erde’, respectively, which mean ground.

Historical Facts to Look at

  • The spherical concept of the Earth’s shape was proposed in the 5th Century BC based on observational evidence of the Earth’s shadow on the moon during the lunar eclipse. It remained a matter of philosophical speculation until the 3rd century BC. Clearly, at this time, the concept of the Earth’s shape was mere speculations.
  • On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into space. Four years later on April 12, 1961, Russian Lt. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth in Vostok 1. His flight lasted 108 minutes, and Gagarin reached an altitude of 327 kilometers (about 202 miles). This exploration confirms the shape of the earth is round as speculated in the 5th and 6th Centuries BC.
  • Sir Isaac Newton pointed out that the earth is not a perfect sphere. He suggested it was an oblate spheroid. This also points to the sphericity of the Earth’s shape.

What do you think is the real shape of the Earth? I will leave you with this video and question the facts you have about the shape of the earth you were presented to believe.

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