Flat-Earthers Have a Wild New Theory About Forests

Sep 14, 2016

By Sam Kriss

Something tremendous is happening; over the last few weeks, without too many of its globe-headed detractors noticing, a surprisingly vast community on the tattered fringes of intellectual orthodoxy is in turmoil. A bizarre new theory has turned the flat earth upside down. The flat earth is still flat, but now it’s dotted with tiny imitations of the truly enormous trees that once covered the continents, and which in our deforested age we can hardly even remember.

I’ve always been mildly obsessed with the flat-earth truth movement, the sprawling network of people utterly convinced that the world has been lied to for centuries about its own physical shape. The particulars differ, but here everyone takes it as a given that a conspiracy reaching from your first schoolteacher to NASA to the metaphysical Beyond has deluded humanity, making us believe that we’re nothing more than something that grew on a rock, a layer of biological grease mouldering on the surface of a ball suspended in empty space, when we’re actually living on a flat plane.

Part of this fascination is anthropological: once, if you wanted to encounter an entirely different ontological system, you had to probe deep into jungles and deserts, pith helmet capping your Western arrogance. Now, with the peculiar cosmology of capitalist production subsuming an entire planet into its logic, mythological worlds are increasingly homogenized, and all that difference and weirdness is no longer geographically extensive. If you want to encounter very different realities, you can find them online, and each time the world reveals itself to be a little richer than you’d thought.


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8 comments on “Flat-Earthers Have a Wild New Theory About Forests

  • @OP – The flat earth is still flat, but now it’s dotted with tiny imitations of the truly enormous trees that once covered the continents, and which in our deforested age we can hardly even remember.

    OK, so not only are they abject fails at geography and astronomy, but also at geology, biology and forestry!



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  • New discoveries in mainstream science just tell us about the physical universe; earth-shattering developments in the conspiracy-theory fringe tell us what’s happening to ourselves.

    Great writing. Very entertaining read.



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  • Freud occasionally talks about an ‘oceanic’ feeling of unity, a remnant of very early childhood, when the mind is unable to distinguish between itself and the outside world. … We are what we are because something else went away; when we become ourselves, we lose the vastness of everything else.

    Hey, Dan, I think this touches on stuff you’ve tried from time to time to bring to our attention.



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  • New category needed – file under ‘weird s*it’;

    so far, ‘The Atlantic‘ seems to be the only mainstream source reporting this (no mention of the bible verses at very end of the video). A re-done YouTube version, w/ English accent, cuts off the verses. Moral message aside:

    Flat-top rock formations were once giant trees – jagged mountains were felled trees – valleys are abandoned quarries (foolish humans say they are natural parks!) – volcanoes are naught but “slag heaps” – and a nuclear incident occurred in the 1800’s.

    Up to viewers to decide if this is a colossal waste of time (one hour, 25 min), or worthy of (some sort) discussion.



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  • 7
    flyingfsck says:

    I have more hope for a flat earther, than for a 6000 year earth religious person. Believing that the earth is flat and resting on the back of a turtle, doesn’t hurt anyone.



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  • I recall visiting abandoned mine workings in the Pennines, rust coloured streams trickling across our path, and the rocks filled with little rust coloured fossilised washers, or so they appeared. Remains of ancient spaceships, we declared Von Daniken was right after all. Mind you, there were unlawful mushrooms growing in them there hills, so perhaps Von D wasn’t that reliable an authority.



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