Flat-Earthers use Pac-Man to explain why we don’t fall off the edge of the planet
This week in Birmingham, more than 200 free thinkers met to attend the UK’s very first Flat Earth Convention. For those who aren’t familiar, pretty much everything you need to know is in the title: if you’re a Flat-Earther, you believe NASA, aeroplane pilots and the Ancient Greeks were all wrong and that the Earth isn’t spherical. It’s a theory that is gaining traction in some circles, especially millennials if some dubious data analysis is anything to go by.
The 200 or so attendees were in for a treat as the experts on hand bent over backwards to try to make their version of truth fit the facts. The main highlight goes to Darren Nesbit, a musician who has an answer to that fly in the ointment of Flat Earth thinking: how come we don’t fall off the edge? His answer is simple: we’re living in a Pac-Man world.
Yes, he’s based his hypothesis on a 1980s arcade cabinet. You know how Pac-Man leaves one side of the maze and reappears on the other? You may think this was just a way for game developers to keep things on a single screen, oh no: that’s how we travel from one side of the world to the other, apparently – a theory which seems to raise more questions than it answers.
“We know that continuous east-west travel is possible”, Nesbit said. “One logical possibility for those who are truly free thinkers is that space-time wraps around and we get a Pac-Man effect.”
Evidence? Nah. In fact, Nesbit’s embrace of pseudoscience seems to be based on two observations: “One is that, go look or stand outside – the world is clearly not moving! I know they fudge a whole load of nonsensical reasons why we don’t feel this 1,038 + 67,000 + 500,000 mph motion in different directions but anyone who’s ever been in an earthquake knows what it feels like when the Earth really is moving and not perfectly stable.”
With him so far? Good, because this free thinker is about to blow your mind.
“The other is that no matter where you live on this supposed ball, you seem to live right on top of it. Someone should be living on the side of the ball, with a perfectly vertical landscape, and people should be living underneath it, walking upside down.”
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Nesbit wasn’t the only free thinker arguing against those experts at NASA, though. David Marsh claimed he had proven gravity doesn’t exist with research which “destroys Big Bang cosmology”, while another pitched the idea that the Earth is propped up on four pillars.
It’s not clear when we’ll be getting our next dose of free thinking. For now, the official website shows a countdown clock reporting that the doors open in -4 days’ time. But cheer up: maybe everything we think we know about time is wrong too.