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The Earth is our blue pearl, our spherical house. But what if it were flat? Someone seriously believes it! What would our daily life be like on a flat earth, a hypothetical "disk" with the sun on top as a mobile? Let's explore this suggestive scenario, which would present at least 8 curious consequences.
1 Say goodbye to gravity (at least as we know it)
On the spherical Earth, gravity affects objects equally, no matter where they are in the world. On a flat Earth, the severity (as we know it) would have no effect. If it did, it would soon turn the planet into a spheroid. Perhaps a flat Earth would have no gravity at all, as a solid disk-like Earth would not be possible under real gravity conditions, according to calculations made in 1850 by the mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell.
Hypothesis B: on a flat Earth, gravity would draw everything towards the center of the disk: the North Pole. Second James Davis, a geophysicist at Columbia University, in this scenario, the further away from the North Pole, the more horizontal the gravitational pull towards the center point of the disk. This would wreak havoc around the world, but at least the long jump world record would be easily broken (as long as you head north before jumping).
2 Flat earth, black sky
Without gravity, the flat Earth would not hold the layer of gas called the atmosphere. And without this protective blanket, the skies of Earth would turn black: the light emitted by the sun would no longer paint the skies the familiar blue we see today. The loss of atmospheric pressure would expose people, plants and animals to the vacuum of space, leading everyone to asphyxiation within seconds.
Without an atmosphere, most of the water would boil in the vacuum of space: what remains would freeze. Good news for organisms living deep in the ocean today, though: they could survive.
3 Weather: expected cloudy with horizontal rain
If gravity pulled towards the center of a flat Earth (in this case it is the North Pole) the precipitation would also gravitate towards that point. And only there would the rain behave like on a spherical Earth, falling downwards. In other places on a flat earth the rain would be horizontal. It is clear that the oceans would also cluster in the center of the circle, leaving no water at the edges.
No navigator on flat earth
It is likely that satellites would not exist if the Earth were flat, as they would have trouble orbiting around a flat plane. "A good number of satellite missions that society depends on would not work," he says James DavisColumbia University geophysicist "I can't think of how GPS would work on a flat earth."
A big problem. We depend on global satellite navigation systems for everything from GPS services on the phone to travel information. From stock management in supermarkets to emergency services. But the horizontal rain would always point us to the north.
5 Some trips would take forever
On a hypothetical flat Earth, longer travel times are to be expected, not only due to the absence of GPS, but also due to the distances to be covered. For those who believe in the flat Earth, the Arctic is in the center of the planet and Antarctica forms a giant wall of ice around the edge. A fortune: thanks to this wall people do not fall off the planet. But to fly from Australia to Antarctica one would also have to fly across the entire Arctic, including North and South America. Ah! You could no longer travel through Antarctica (things we currently do, on the spherical Earth), because that famous wall of ice would prevent the journey.
6 No more auroras
On our boring spherical Earth, the molten metal surrounding our iron core generates electric currents which in turn create our protective magnetic field. On the tantalizing flat Earth, however, without a solid core that generates a magnetic field, that protective layer (the magnetosphere) would cease to exist. And so would the auroras. Oh well, we would give up these fantastic shows, also because we would have died anyway due to total exposure to solar winds.
7 We would all see the same night sky
Finally some good news! A flat Earth would not be divided into hemispheres as in our current globe: night and day would not be reversed and everyone would see the same sky. Romantic, isn't it? Stargazing would also be easier. A godsend.
8 Bonus! On flat earth, hurricanes would be a thing of the past
Hurricanes cause unprecedented damage every year. The devastating nature of these phenomena stems from the Earth's Coriolis effect, which causes storms in the Northern Hemisphere to rotate clockwise and those in the Southern Hemisphere to rotate counterclockwise. However, on a flat Earth, no Coriolis effect would be generated. It is a quality! No Coriolis, no hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones.