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Man uses a photo of Lake Michigan to explain why we can't see the Earth's curvature

The Michigan man took a photo of Lake Michigan and explained how the planet is not flat.

Man uses a photo of Lake Michigan to explain why we can't see the Earth's curvature
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Karmadog

For most kids, it is a fascinating thing to learn that the earth that we walk upon is actually round and not a flat road that must start and end at some point. But even after countless images from satellites, millions of studies, and thousands of years of exploring that have all proved that the earth is round, many people still believe that our planet is flat. A Michigan man tried to give just that through his YouTube video.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Valentin Antonucci
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Valentin Antonucci

Greg Pagel explained why we can't see the earth's round surface through a photo of Lake Michigan. "I took this picture a few miles from my house in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. That's Lake Michigan. Pretty, isn't it?" Pagel wrote in the text overlay of his video. He pointed out that there was a beach at Silver Creek Park on the right side of the photo at a certain distance. On the left side of the photo, there was the south of Two Rivers where the man grew up. He added random trivia and joked, "Do you know why it is called Two Rivers? Because it sounds nicer than 'Three Trees and a Couple of Rocks.'"


The man focused on the part of the photo that shows the horizon—which looked pretty flat in the image. "But I heard the earth was round. Have I been lied to?" Pagel wondered. He then tried to take a closer look by zooming in the photo. But it still looked flat. He showed people the panoramic view of the photo he took but that looked flat as well. Pagel pinpointed the place he was standing on Google Earth. "On the left, there's the shore of Two Rivers again. On the right that's the beach at Silver Creek Park," he pointed out. The Michigan man explained that as the shoreline was curvy, a person wouldn't be able to see beyond either point as the area was blocked by land.


The distance between the two points was 8.4 miles. "The line between the two points gives you a really nice, long view of the horizon," Pagel noted. As the distance between the two points is 8.4 miles, the man next tried to compare the distance with the circumference of the earth and how much would that percentage amount curve. The man did some math after figuring out that the circumference of the earth is 2500 miles. He multiplied 8.4 by 360 and divided it by 2500 to find out that 8.4 miles would make an arc of 0.12 degrees on the earth's circumference. 

He then showed what a 0.12-degree arc would look like on a circle. He zoomed in on a one-degree arc first to show how flat it looked. "This a one-degree arc, imagine what a 0.12-degree arc would look like. It would be pretty flat," Pagel demonstrated. He then pointed out why the lake's horizon looked so flat as a parallel. Pagel added a note of caution at the end. "This video was not meant to prove if the Earth is round or flat." He added, "It was just to demonstrate that a globe the size of the Earth would appear to be flat from this vantage point." The man encouraged people to continue exploring the question with an open mind.  


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