There are several parodies of the “goofy” Flat Earth theory, all over the internet and several Twitter accounts have been created, dedicated to this cause: Banana Earth Theory, Dodecahedron Earth Theory, Dinosaur Earth Theory, and the Taco Earth Theory. There is but one that sounds the most absurd and has a large number of followers, which is the Donut Earth Theory.
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It might be strange, but there are people on the Internet that are arguing that the Earth is neither spherical nor flat but is shaped like a torus, a fancy word for a donut.
This idea was first seen on the FlatEarthSociety.org thread in 2008 and was started by Dr. Rosenpenis, obviously as a joke. This was later fleshed out in great detail by FES trailblazer Varaug in 2012.
What Is The Donut Earth Theory?
As per the Donut Earth Theory, there is a huge hole in the center of the Earth, which can not be seen. Varaug tried to explain it and said that light bent and followed the curvature of the shape, which made the hole “unseeable”. The Donut Earth Theory has raised a lot of questions about how gravity works, which too was explained by Varaug: “Imagine a donut. Imagine a jam donut. Gravity acts towards the jam.”
His ideas have suddenly surged after all these years.
Explainers on YouTube and models of a torus-shaped Earth exploded by 2016 when some Flat Earthers rediscovered the old thread.
Dinosaur Neil wrote that he was “glad” to see supporters of torus-Earth there and that he had been promoting the same for a very long time. Nobody backed him up and he could not understand why.
To be honest, the Donut Earth Theory did not start off with a question that needed an answer.
Dr. Tabetha Boyajian, an astrophysicist, stated that this had started off as a Hey, how about this?’ And then they try and explain things.” Tyler Ellis, who is a grad student helping Dr. Boyajian, added that Varaug had failed to create consistent regulations to speak on his hypothesis, which was a vital step in Science.
The Donut Earth Theory did not hold up to basic scientific interrogations, either. If we lived in a Torus, we would not experience day and night, as we know them, with a 24-hour rotation. The sun would hit the planet unevenly, and the seasons would vary wildly depending on the angle of the donut with respect to the Sun. Winds would be strong enough to make life on a torus-shaped planet, difficult.
Dr. Andres Sandberg, a professor from Oxford, looked deep into the models on how different the conditions would be on a donut-shaped planet. Gravity would be weaker to the inner and outer equators and stronger near the poles.
Escape Velocity would also be much lower, which would make the rockets much easier to launch at the right places. People living near the holes would experience “double winters” and the most observable effect would be the weather. Clouds would be three times as higher on a donut-shaped planet and they would be pushed aside by strong winds.
Reasons To Scrap Off This Theory
The Professor gave us two examples that the Donut Earth Theory could not explain.
One was Foucault’s Pendulum, which displays the physical effects of rotation, the rate of which is constant on a spherical planet.
The second one was the shape of the Earth’s shadow during an eclipse. If Earth was indeed torus-shaped it too would create a donut-shaped shadow, begging the question as to what was documented for centuries.
Another obvious issue was that people living in the ring would be able to look up and see the other side of the torus. Varaug wrote that the hole was invisible because the light followed the curvature of the torus, but Dr. Boyajian contradicted this point and said that we usually see the light bend in that way, next to large bodies in the Universe, eg: Supermassive Black Holes.
“Any of those claims is just saying, ‘You know what, I’m going to just come up with a new idea with no motivation for it. Just eight things that can possibly be consistent with it,’” says Dr. Boyajian. “And that’s not how we develop theories.”
The Donut Earth Theory is just one of the conspiracy theories amidst alleged cover-ups, paranoia, and secrets that have become a great source of entertainment.