You know how some things seem to have been hotly debated, over and over, since the beginning of time ... and other things, well you don't waste headspace on them because you figure that debate has been put to bed.

I sort've figured debating the earth's shape was in the latter category.

But Google Trends data would suggest I am wrong. It shows that searches for "flat earth" have soared 90% in the past two years. Celebrities and former sportsmen are now joining the movement. Because yes - there is a movement.

Shaquille O'Neil, or should I say Doctor Shaquille, is a smart man (he has a doctorate in education) nevertheless declared himself a flat earther with a rather hilarious statement.


He said, "I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it's flat to me. I don't not go up and down at 360 degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity. You mean to tell me that China is under us? It's not. The world is flat."

Well thanks, Shaq, that really cleared things up for me.

Former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff is on the bandwagon, too. His pearls of wisdom are similarly entertaining. He says: "If you're in a helicopter and you hover why does the earth not come to you if it's round?"

Why indeed.

If you're not yet convinced by these eloquent men and their riddles, you can get all of your questions answered online. Including those photos that you think show the world looks round from space are wrong because no one's ever been to space, (that's a conspiracy you see) and that the water on flat the earth is contained by the big ice ring around the earth called Antarctica, that's like a wall - which sounds very game of thrones doesn't it?

There is also that American guy you might have heard of, Mike Hughes, who wants to strap himself to a rocket and launch it in the Mojave desert to the edge of space to prove the earth is flat. I guess we'll never get to hear from him what he sees, because it's unlikely he'll live to tell the tale.

Given my column is dripping with sarcasm, why am I giving time to these crackpot theories that I thought were put to bed about 600 years ago?

Because I see it as yet further evidence that the anti-intellectual movement is taking over. The era of alternative facts. Of online conspiracy theory zealots and of fake news.


A frightening number of people like to dismiss the scientific reports of global warming as a conspiracy, despite wildfires raging in California in winter for the first time.

We like to see the everyday man interviewed on the news, not the boring intellectual ones.

American elected a guy who shouts "fake news" at anything he doesn't agree with and people are taking his lead on that. The newspaper often contains more opinion than news stories - and I say that fully aware of the irony that I am a columnist!

So to anyone who subscribes to that way of thinking, may I humbly suggest you head to the edge of the earth - and report back when you fall off.