At a time when QAnon believers are running for - and have been elected to - Congress, and a convoy of anti-vaccine truckers has descended on Canada's parliament, its heartening to look back to a time when conspiracy theories were just weird and stupid, and not necessarily deadly and democracy eroding.
A video that recently resurfaced on Reddit is a reminder of those brighter days.
In a clip from the 2018 documentary Behind the Curve, which focuses on flat Earth believers, an adherent to the theory that world is actually a flat plane and not a spheroid manages to undermine his worldview in an experiment gone wrong.
The flat-Earther sets up an experiment he believes will prove the Earth is actually flat. The experiment involves a camera, which is set to film through a pair of two holes carved into a board an a fence and set up in a line but at increasingly further distances. A person at a distance further beyond the boards stands with a flashlight.
Here's the theory: if the earth is actually flat, the camera - aimed so that its viewfinder is centred on the holes in the boards - should be able to perfectly record the torch, without any occlusion, when its lifted. If the earth is round, the second, more distant hole, should slightly cover the light, accounting for the curvature of the Earth.
In the video, the flat-Earther conducts his experiment and reviews the footage he filmed.
Naturally, since the Earth is round, the second light is completely obscured by the hole.
"Interesting," the flat-Earther says, unable to find a way to undermine the evidence he had just collected.
Unfortunately, the experience did not ultimately sway the flat-Earther to reconsider his position, and he remained an adherent after the documentary was released.
Luckily for the flat-Earther in the video, all the experiment cost him was his pride and some cognitive dissonance. Other flat-Earthers have paid far greater prices in their attempts to prove the world is flat.
In 2020, flat-Earther "Mad" Mike Hughes set out to prove the world was flat by shooting himself high enough to see if the planet curved in a home-made, steam-powered rocket.
Mr Hughes, 64, was hoping to reach an altitude of 5,000 feet to prove his theory. However, the rocket's parachute deployed early, slowing the rocket and causing it to crash back into the California desert. Mr Hughes was killed in the crash.
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