Hollow Earth vs Flat Earth Theory; Where Does One Draw the Line?
In the conspiracy world, everyone has their own predilections. Conspiracies aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing; a theory that sounds preposterous to one, might be absolutely convincing to the next person. And recently there have been two conspiracies spreading across the internet, both at odds with each other, but which have convinced many, much to the chagrin of those pesky “normies.” That’s right, we’re talking about the hollow earth vs. flat earth theory.
Whether you ascribe to one of these alternative geological machinations or think both of them are absurd, there is at the very least, some interesting history behind both theories, each with their own unique drama. Not to mention the meta psy-op conspiracies some have presented to explain both trains of thought.
Who will win in the battle for the Hollow Earth vs. Flat Earth? Read on and decide for yourself…
Who Started the Flat Earth Theory; What is the Flat Earth Theory?
Though it may seem as if it spontaneously popped up out of nowhere sometime in the early aughts, the Flat Earth conspiracy theory’s roots extend back centuries in various forms. And we’re not just talking about its debate in times of antiquity; flat Earth arguments began popping up millennia after Pythagoras proposed, and Aristotle later proved, the planet is indeed spherical.
One of the most famous Flat Earth arguments came after a man named Samuel Birley Rowbotham published a 16-page pamphlet that was later expanded into an 1865 book claiming the Earth was in fact flat. Rowbotham cited evidence in the form of biblical scripture, fudged mathematical formulae, and faulty experiments designed to support Young Earth Creationist religious dogma – you know, the bizarre theory that the Earth was created some 10,000 years ago and dinosaurs existed alongside humans?
And Rowbotham’s ideas were posthumously preserved by one of his disciples who went so far as to create the Universal Zetetic Society (Zetetic is an obscure Greek/Latin word meaning “proceeding by inquiry”) that flourished up until WWI with its recurrent publication The Earth Not a Globe Review. Then in the 1950s, it was rebranded with the name we’re all now familiar with, the Flat Earth Society, which has experienced fluctuations in adherence until its most recent peak revival.
In the mid to late 1800s, Rowbotham’s inaccurate claims about the Earth being flat caught the attention of likeminded anti-intellectuals who wanted literal proof of biblical events. One of those fanatics was a wealthy man named John Hampden, who, in cahoots with Rowbotham, published a challenge with a cash reward to anyone who could prove in an experiment that the Earth was not flat.
Their test centered on a misinformed observation of boats at the far end of a six-mile canal, which they said could be seen without distortion or disappearing. They said boats should not be visible from the far end of the canal due to the Earth’s curvature, and because one could see them, they had their flat Earth theory proof. The experiment went down in the annals of history as the Bedford Level Experiment.
But a man name Alfred Russel Wallace took the bet, knowing he had a way of elucidating the fact that what they were observing was probably a Fata Morgana, or some similar mirage, that makes ships in the distance appear to be floating or seem on an equal plane as the observer.
Wallace was easily able to show the two the folly in their ways by placing poles topped with disks along the canal, claiming that a pole placed in the middle of the canal would appear taller than the one closest and the one furthest from them. And as it turns out it did because of the planet’s curvature.
Flat-earthers tend to present these types of confused observations or tests as evidence that supports their theory still to this day. And they can seem legitimate or convincing at face value, especially when one isn’t prepared to defend against such absurd claims without a refresher on physics learned in elementary school. But that’s ok, because you don’t have to waste your time arguing with them… the Earth is round.
The Hollow Earth Conspiracy Theory and Agartha
Depending on who you talk to, the Hollow Earth theory has a number of different takes and intensities of belief. Some claim it’s just as fantastic, if not more so than Flat Earth theory, but we’d argue it has slightly more credence.
The idea that the Earth could be hollow is often tied to Sir Edmond Halley, a colleague of Isaac Newton and mathematician who calculated the periodicity of the comet named after him. These credentials may be why everyone believed him when he proposed the idea that Earth consisted of several concentric shells, each with its own atmosphere and magnetic poles separating it from the next. Halley posited the idea that each of these shells had its own light source and was possibly inhabited by living beings. He also believed gas escaping from the poles on the planet’s exterior was the cause of the Aurora Borealis and similar phenomena.
Today, Hollow Earth theorists believe Halley’s postulations about a Hollow Earth and the potential existence of life inside. Some refer to this land as Agartha, while others say it is the legendary Shambhala. And it’s fabled stories like these, apparent across disparate cultures, that fuel the belief in an internal Earth society.
If one were to watch any of the number of YouTube videos on the Hollow Earth theory, they’d find attempted scientific arguments sandwiched by anecdotal stories of Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedition and lore from religious and archaic texts. Much of which is often quite convincing.
One of their interesting arguments comes from the observation of a rotating water droplet in space. In these droplets, one sees that air bubbles tend to gravitate toward the center of the droplet, condensing into a core. This, they suggest, shows how the distribution of matter is affected by rotation as a function of time. They say this supports the argument that the Earth, over billions of years spinning through space has caused the planet to expand like a balloon, creating a hollow crust, separate from the dense core. And it’s between these shells where they believe may potentially be life.
Is there any real foundation to these ideas? Sure, maybe it is possible the Earth has expanded and there are hollowed out areas between the highly brittle crust and the more solid layers of the mantle and the core. Just recently Hollow Earth theorists have pointed to seismic waves detecting mountain ranges bigger than the Rockies in the Earth’s mantle as evidence for their theory.
And the fact that we haven’t been able to drill down more than 40,000 ft. makes the Hollow Earth argument more convincing than Flat Earth theory. But with the exception of the tiniest, most robust microbes, this still doesn’t help the idea that there could be life down there – it’s way too hot and the pressure way too high for that. Or is it?
The Psy-Op Conspiracy
A recent study blamed the rise of believers in the Flat Earth on the conspiracy’s propagation through YouTube. Their study found that the video streaming platform’s algorithm, which is designed to suggest an unending queue of topically relevant content at the end of your video, encourages people to go down rabbit holes, convincing them that there’s actually significant evidence to support these absurd ideas. We probably could have told you that without conducting a study, but good for them.
An overarching and more convincing conspiracy surrounding Hollow Earth and Flat Earth fantasy is one that posits their existence to be part of a grander attempt to dumb down the populace through a subversive control of public discourse and popular narratives.
These seditions have been around for a while and are certainly proven to some extent. If one were to consider the narrative fed to students in many countries (especially those with histories of imperialism), the true history is often much different than the nationalistic, sugar-coated version taught in school.
Could these two bizarre ideas fall into this category? Hard to say, but it makes a whole lot more sense than the Flat Earth or Hollow Earth conspiracies themselves.
Is a Parallel Universe Changing Our Reality?
Sometimes referred to as the Berenstain Bears Conspiracy, the Mandela Effect is a phenomenon in which people report having the same false memories, leading to a belief that something is changing reality.
We all experience life through our own subjective lenses, interpreting day-to-day happenings differently than everyone else. This contributes to individuality, free will, and the ability to think for ourselves. But of course, the way that we witness our world often results in lapses of memory or perception. We sometimes seem to remember events happening differently than others or our perception of time is skewed.
And individual memory lapses are easily written off when everyone else’s memory says otherwise. But how does one explain false memories that are held by a significantly large portion of the population?
Confabulation is the psychiatric term for replacing a gap in your memory with a falsification. So, what about mass confabulation? Well, that’s become a conspiracy of sorts, referred to as The Mandela Effect.
Examples of The Mandela Effect
The Mandela Effect was given its name by Fiona Broome, who seemed to remember hearing about the death of Nelson Mandela on the news while he was imprisoned in the 1980s. In “reality,” Mandela survived until late 2013 and did not even become president of South Africa until 1994. But as it turned out, her memory was shared by a deluge of similarly convinced people, resulting in many other instances in which large swaths of the population have claimed to experience the same confabulated memories.
Could this be the result of one person incorrectly remembering a historical event or cultural icon propagating their misinterpretation to be inaccurately remembered by the masses? Or could it be evidence of a multiverse in which waves of events from a parallel universe have washed over into ours, creating subtle nuances in the time-space continuum, where there was once a children’s book called the Berenstein Bears, instead of the Berenstain Bears? It’s more interesting to explore the latter.
While the Berenstain Bears is ostensibly a mundane and inconsequential example of the Mandela Effect, there are other instances that are so uncanny, they’re hard to ignore. For example, when Darth Vader reveals his paternalistic relationship to Luke in Star Wars, most remember him saying, “Luke, I am your father.” In ‘reality,’ he says, “No, I am your father.” While an intransigent Star Wars fan might scoff at someone who misquotes such an important scene, it can’t be ignored that most people remember it in the former. Even James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, remembers the line incorrectly.
Movie quotes aside, an example of a famous real-life event that has been brought into the mystery of the Mandela Effect regards the famous protester at Tiananmen Square. The ‘Tank Man,’ whose defiant act of rebellion, standing in front of a tank with grocery bags in hand, is remembered by many as resulting in his death from being run over. In fact, he was not run over and there is no evidence of it, but many remember his crushing demise distinctly.
This is nothing new to those familiar with the theory and there are many other examples that support it; so many that there is an entire subreddit devoted to the effect. With topics ranging from movies that never existed to discrepancies in historical events, people vehemently claim to remember very particular things differently, but on a large, collective scale. Some people’s reactions are visceral when they experience new revelations due to the Mandela Effect, to the point of incurring panic attacks or questioning reality.
Mandela Effect Theories and CERN
One pragmatist theory for explaining the Mandela Effect is that it is simply a failure in the collective memory. Our brains are very easily influenced by our own filters, as well as the perception of others. Many common instances of the Mandela Effect are trivial and maybe just went unnoticed in the past, or are the result of conclusions that our brains jump to based on the context of an image or video. But some are substantial, like an entire country hundreds of miles out of place.
One of the more intriguing theories that attempt to explain this phenomenon points a finger at CERN and the large hadron collider in Switzerland. CERN’s experiments are intended to find elusive particles that could potentially show evidence of a multiverse, create tiny black holes, or discover dark matter. While all of this sounds very exciting, it also sounds potentially dangerous. What could possibly go wrong if we opened up a black hole in Europe, or tapped into another dimension with consequences unknown? While the scientists at CERN assure us their experiments are conducted on such a controlled, small scale as to have little, if any, negative consequences, some believe that their meddling in quantum fields has led to some strange effects, resulting in some kind of interdimensional entanglement.
One of the quantum particles that CERN has been searching for is the graviton. These elusive particles correspond with how gravity would react between different dimensions and are still only hypothetical, but the way CERN describes them is intriguing.
“If gravitons exist, it should be possible to create them at the LHC, but they would rapidly disappear into extra dimensions. Collisions in particle accelerators always create balanced events – just like fireworks – with particles flying out in all directions. A graviton might escape our detectors, leaving an empty zone that we notice as an imbalance in momentum and energy in the event. We would need to carefully study the properties of the missing object to work out whether it is a graviton escaping to another dimension or something else.”
Is CERN inducing these gravitons, creating holes to other dimensions, and swapping idiosyncrasies in our world? Or are we just having a collective memory lapse?