The flat earth has become a favourite subject of conspiracy theorists and conspiracy theorists who believe that its existence is a hoax created by a small group of scientists and politicians, and that it’s a secret government conspiracy to steal the American economy and take control of the world.
But for millions of Americans, the idea of a flat earth is something they’ve never even heard of.
They’re often baffled by the idea, and sometimes feel uncomfortable and unappreciated for having the world’s largest country and one of the most advanced economies on the planet be populated with a country with a flat world.
It’s not surprising that flat earth enthusiasts are not as popular in Australia as they are in the United States.
While Australia has been hit by a global recession and an immigration crisis, the flat world has largely remained a mystery.
Australian government figures show that just 3 per cent of Australians say that they know that Australia is a country of the flat, while 26 per cent have no idea.
In fact, the majority of Australians have never heard of the United Kingdom, a country that has an official flat earth.
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a theory about the world we live in.
“I think it’s all based on the belief that there is something about the earth that makes it go round,” explains James Coughlan, a professor of geology at the University of Western Australia.
“There’s a huge difference between the Australian flat and the United Nations’ flat earth.”
Coughlin believes that the flat has a much bigger impact on the country than other countries.
If there is a difference between Australian and international law, Coughlen says, it’s because the Australian government has the final say over the law.
The Australian government, Couglan believes, “takes the laws of the land, and then puts them in the constitution”.
“And it’s that position that makes the United Nation flat,” he says.
“The United Nations has its own law, it can’t just be overruled by the Australian parliament.”
And Coughlans world view isn’t limited to the flat.
In 2016, the Australian Government put a billboard outside Parliament House in Canberra displaying a drawing of the Earth as a globe, a symbol of the country’s national identity.
The sign was widely criticised, with many Australians wondering if the government had made a statement of support for a religion that’s not widely known around the world or that has no place in Australia.
Coughlan says he thinks that the country is really proud of the fact that it has the world at its centre, but admits that there are a lot of other countries around the globe that are more similar to Australia.