Many ancient cultures believed the world was flat, and now many modern conspiracists do as well. Flat Earthers are people who disregard the evidence of a spherical planet, choosing instead to believe the world is flat. The most prominent theory states that the Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the middle and Antarctica, creating an ice wall around the rim. The wall of ice is vital to prevent people from falling off the edge. The sun and moon move in circles around the disc, and gravity is just an illusion. Photos of the spherical Earth are just photoshopped. The most stunning Flat Earther evidence is that no matter where a person walks, the horizon remains eye level. 
This might seem like a joke, but Flat Earthers take their claims very seriously. They often look for more proof to back up their theory. That’s what set two Flat Earthers from Italy to sail to “the edge of the world,” violating the lockdown due to the pandemic. And that was just the beginning of their journey.
Flat Earthers Sail to “The Edge of the World”
The couple claimed that the edge was situated south of Sicily, by the small island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean Sea. That Is fairly close to Termini Imerese, a town in northern Sicily, where they lived. It’s unclear why they thought this spot is the end of the planet. (It should be noted that the flat earther movement rarely agrees on theories aside from the basic idea that the world is flat.) But they sold their car to purchase a boat to embark on their voyage. 
Despite their simple objective, their trip did not go according to plan. They ended up on the island of Ustica, which is north of Italy. Despite their compass, they went 200 miles in the wrong direction.
When they disembarked, they received help from a doctor at the maritime health office. The doctor, Salvatore Zichichi, placed them into quarantine because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“The funny thing is that they orient themselves with the compass, an instrument that works based on terrestrial magnetism, a principle that Flat Earthers should reject,” says Dr. Zichichi. 
Undeterred, they ran back to their boat, trying to resume their quest, but officials caught them a few hours later. A few days later, they tried to run away — again — and were caught — again. At that point, they resided themselves to the two weeks in quarantine.
In the end, the two flat earthers were sent back home via ferry, where they now do not have a car. And they failed to prove their theory. 
How Could People Still Believe the Earth is Flat?
With all of the evidence against it, how could people actually believe the earth is flat? Or that the world is a dome, and we don’t fall off the edge because we immediately teleport to the other side like Pac-Man?  Or the hundreds of other outlandish theories spun around the idea of a flat earth? How could we convince them that the world is round?
If you’ve ever been in an argument, you’d know how hard it is to change someone’s mind and how hard it is for them to change yours — even when facts are presented. Similarly, Paul Sutter from Space believes that evidence isn’t the point of discussion here.
“People who believe that the Earth is flat aren’t coming to that conclusion from the same types of observations. They, instead, believe that we are being misled and lied to, that scientists (including me) want you to believe that the Earth is round, despite its flatness.
“So the question isn’t ‘why do people believe in a flat Earth’ but rather ‘why do people believe in a conspiracy?’ And the answer is the same reason it always is: a lack of trust…”
He continued, “By claiming that the Earth is flat, people are really expressing a deep distrust of scientists and science itself.
“So, if you find yourself talking to a Flat Earther, skip the evidence and arguments, and ask yourself how you can build trust.” 
In the meantime, Flat Earthers will continue to believe in their theory, and for the most part, there’s no convincing them otherwise. Perhaps they will attempt another voyage to the end of the world, but hopefully after the pandemic.
- “Are Flat-Earthers Being Serious?” Live Science. Natalie Wolchover. May 30, 2017
- “Flat Earthers tried to sail to the edge of the world… and you can totally guess how it went.” BGR. Mike Wehner. Jan 21, 2021.
- “Flat Earther Couple Tries to Sail to the Edge of the World, Rescued by Maritime Doctor.” The Science Times. Erika P. September 11, 2020
- “These flat-Earthers try to sail to the edge of the world and it went as well as you would imagine.” Indy 100. Sirena Bergman. December 26, 2020.
- “Flat-Earthers Explain Why We Don’t Fall Off the Edge of Our Planet, and It Involves Pac-Man.” Live Science. Jeanna Bryner. May 2, 2018
- “How to debate a flat-Earther.” Space. Paul Sutter. September 8, 2020