Depending on where you are in the world and how you spend your time, you are currently either staring via carefully created glasses at the sky awaiting a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event or, you know, working and not really giving a shit about the whole thing. But what, you might be wondering, are flat-Earth conspiracy theorists doing? Ever vigilant, they are seizing this whole “moon moving in front of the sun” thing as an opportunity to reconfigure their perceptions of the cosmos such that, indeed, the eclipse is actually proof of the flatness of the planet.
The reasoning for this varies from flat-earther to flat-earther, in part because of the many warring tribes of them: religious ones who think the sky is a glass dome; irreligious ones seeking mathematical consistencies; the hot, new fringe “no forest” crowd that thinks the earth was once pretty much Pandora from Avatar, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, and so on. Mic interviewed a ”scientific flat-earther” who breaks down the main flat-Earth eclipse theory, which is that the moon should cast a larger shadow on the Earth given the sizes and distances we have been lead to believe exist between these heavenly bodies. See it illustrated below, along with a neat refutation, which always exists for flat-Earth math but which they still don’t believe.
And while there are some further wrinkles—here is a typically long, inscrutable, math-filled argument that, due to the Earth’s rotation, the eclipse should actually be moving from east to west—the real meat of the “solar eclipse proves flat Earth” argument comes not from the math, but from the media reaction itself. All those news stories telling you not to look at directly at the eclipse? Those aren’t so you won’t go blind by gazing directly into the sun, but so you won’t see what’s really going on in the sky this afternoon.
In other words, expect thousands of flat-earthers to go blind today looking for proof of, alternately: a huge glass dome behind the moon; the fact that the sun is actually a battery; gigantic trees that once dotted the landscape of the Earth; giant walls of ice that ring our flat plane; or whatever else they’re looking for. It’s all there behind the moon, if you’re willing to go blind looking for it.