Cricket star Freddie Flintoff is convinced that the Earth is flat
Flat Earthers are a strange bunch. There are plenty of bizarre conspiracy theories out in the world, but even the craziest ones also tend to be based in some truth to help the wild claims go down better - with some ending up a little convincing at times. But the idea that the Earth is flat? That's one that it's hard to get on board with.
Now that social media is so widely used and accessible, those who have these beliefs have the ability to find each other online. They can chat with each other directly or on forums, or even meet up to discuss how the rest of us are being duped by NASA's fake satellite photos. With YouTube and Twitter, these passionate people can find ways to spread their particular brand of science across the world with ease, so it's seeing a little resurgence.
Still, you don't really expect to run into someone who sticks by the Flat Earth Theory - or even see someone high-profile talk about it. Yet now Freddie Flintoff is jumping on the bandwagon, albeit with his own variations on their theories.
The former England cricket star Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff has said that he doesn't believe that the Earth is spherical, after spending time listening to Flat Earth theories. Speaking on his own podcast for the BBC, the 39-year-old has said he has recently become obsessed with a podcast called The Flat Earthers. The show reportedly claims that the earth being round is a lie peddled by Disney, which is a little odd given that the idea of a spherical planet has been around for hundreds of years.
In a particularly confusing alteration to the theory, the cricketer said that the planet is not round nor completely flat, but "bulbous, like a turnip".
Both he and his podcast co-host, former Wales football player Robbie Savage, are planning a trip out to next year's Flat Earth International Conference in North Carolina. Flintoff argued that there was "evidence to suggest the world wasn't round", though the corroborating facts are a little hard to follow, if we're being honest.
The sportsman said:
"The pictures which you see, the horizon always appears flat apart from NASA pictures, which some say could be doctored. They could be doctored."
"I am not coming out now and saying that the world is flat, but it could be. You’ve got the earth, its bulbous, like a disc. It’s not completely flat underneath."
"The middle is the North Pole, around the outside is the South Pole which is like a big wall of ice. This is why all governments now have bases on the South Pole"
He then went on to ask questions, which he believes points out that we've all been told lies about the Earth being round, despite the centuries of scientific evidence against him.
"If you’re in a helicopter and you hover why does the Earth not come to you if it’s round?"
"Why, if we’re hurtling through space, why would water stay still? Why is it not wobbling? Also if you fire a laser about 16 miles, if the world was curved, you shouldn’t be able to see it but you can."
Now, I've got to say Flintoff hasn't entirely convinced me yet. But this potential turnip theory is a lot more interesting than the flat earth theories I've heard in the past, I'll give him that.