Pythagoras first proposed that the Earth was round sometime around 500 B.C., with Aristotle following suit 150 years later. Heck, the planet’s circumference was even measured by ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes over 2,000 years ago.
As a matter of fact, the idea that most people, until recently, have thought the Earth was flat is somewhat of a myth, with history indicating that observant sailors, even during the middle ages, have always been able to figure out the planet’s true nature. Also, uh, Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the Earth in 1522. That would have been pretty tough if he had just fallen off the side, Time Bandits style.
Still, so-called “Flat Earthers” have always lurked in the nether-region where science ends and conspiracy begins. They think the whole round planet thing is a grand scam cooked up by “big space” to keep the sheeple in line, or something.
One such spheroid-hater is “Mad” Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limousine driver and inventor from California. He has spent the last several years, and over $21,000, to build a steam-powered rocket to jettison him into orbit. The purpose? To prove once and for all that the world is flat, shoving it in the face of those big, bad science bullies.
Hughes plans on snapping a picture while he is in 2,000 feet above the ghost town of Amboy, California this Saturday. The photo, he says, will somehow prove his point. Did we mention he’s not a big fan of established science?
“I don’t believe in science,” Hughes told the AP. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.”
Believe it or not, the 61-year-old is a seasoned rocket designer. In 2014, he launched himself over Winkelman, Arizona, and managed to make it 1,374 feet. This has the makings of a true underdog story.
Hughes has not mentioned what kind of safety precautions will be taken during Saturday’s launch. Maybe he doesn’t believe in parachutes, either, thinking them merely a product of that shadowy organization known as “big air.”
[image via Mike Hughes]
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