There is a story mentioned by Stephen Hawking in this famous book A Brief History of Time. When I read that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Read the story yourself.
A well-known scientist once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever”, said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”
Just imagine the earth as a flat plate and it is being supported on the back of a tortoise and that it stands on another tortoise all the way down and you can never know where is the last tortoise is standing. This is called infinite regress an expression of the problem in cosmology where you need another reason to justify your answer. There is a society of people who believe even today that the world is flat. If you feel like it could be true here are some reasons to prove that the earth is round.
3 Simple Reasons Why The Earth is Round
- Ship-and-horizon observation: When a ship sails off toward the horizon, the hull seems to sink below the horizon first and then the mast sinks in. The roundness of the earth was readily apparent to mariners and the people. From the viewpoint of the ship, the land also comes over the horizon gradually; first the clouds over the land, then the peaks of mountains and hills, then the lowlands connecting the mountains, and last of all the harbor entrance. This proves that the surface of the ocean curves with Earth.
- The Eclipse: Eclipse of the moon were caused by the earth coming between the sun and moon. The Earth’s shadow on the moon was always round, which would be true only if the earth was spherical.
- The Stars: The North start appeared lower in the sky when viewed from the south than it did in more northerly regions. Since north starts lies over the north pole, it appears to be directly above the observer at the north pole, but to someone looking from the equator, it appears to lie just at the horizon.