Horizon Distance Proves Flat Earth?

Even before the resurgence of the flat earth movement scientists were puzzled by discrepancies between theoretical and observed horizon distances. Flat earthers have been able to produce many examples of objects in the distance that, in theory, should be below the horizon on a globe earth. This is presented as one of the primary proofs the earth is flat. Many of these examples appear to show results that we would not expect to see if they earth was a globe.

So these apparent contradictions in regard to the horizon distance incompatible with what we would expect on a globe are presented as one of the primary proofs that the earth is flat. This is interesting field for research and an area where globe earthers don’t seem to have an answer to counter these unexpected observations in the distance.

Horizon appears to be a straight line

Also they claim that because the horizon appears to be a perfectly straight line, that is proof the earth is flat.


Supporting Flat Earth Proofs

  • 1) The horizon always appears perfectly flat 360 degrees around the observer regardless of altitude.
  • 60) Anyone can prove the sea-horizon perfectly straight and the entire Earth perfectly flat using nothing more than a level, tripods and a wooden plank. At any altitude above sea-level, simply fix a 6-12 foot long, smooth, leveled board edgewise upon tripods and observe the skyline from eye-level behind it. The distant horizon will always align perfectly parallel with the upper edge of the board.
  • 61) If the Earth were actually a big ball 25,000 miles in circumference, the horizon would be noticeably curved even at sea-level, and everything on or approaching the horizon would appear to tilt backwards slightly from your perspective.
  • 62) Samuel Rowbotham’s experiments at the Old Bedford Level proved conclusively the canal’s water to be completely flat over a 6 mile stretch.
  • 63) In a second experiment Dr. Rowbotham affixed flags 5 feet high along the shoreline, one at every mile marker. Then using his telescope mounted at 5 feet just behind the first flag looked over the tops of all 6 flags which lined up in a perfectly straight line.
  • 64) Quoting “Earth Not a Globe!” by Samuel Rowbotham, “It is known that the horizon at sea, whatever distance it may extend to the right and left of the observer on land, always appears as a straight line. The following experiment has been tried in various parts of the country. At Brighton, on a rising ground near the race course, two poles were fixed in the earth six yards apart, and directly opposite the sea. Between these poles a line was tightly stretched parallel to the horizon. From the center of the line the view embraced not less than 20 miles on each side making a distance of 40 miles. A vessel was observed sailing directly westwards; the line cut the rigging a little above the bulwarks, which it did for several hours or until the vessel had sailed the whole distance of 40 miles. The ship coming into view from the east would have to ascend an inclined plane for 20 miles until it arrived at the center of the arc, whence it would have to descend for the same distance. The square of 20 miles multiplied by 8 inches gives 266 feet as the amount the vessel would be below the line at the beginning and at the end of the 40 miles.”
  • 65) Also Quoting Dr. Rowbotham, “On the shore near Waterloo, a few miles to the north of Liverpool, a good telescope was fixed, at an elevation of 6 feet above the water. It was directed to a large steamer, just leaving the River Mersey, and sailing out to Dublin. Gradually the mast-head of the receding vessel came nearer to the horizon, until, at length, after more than four hours had elapsed, it disappeared. The ordinary rate of sailing of the Dublin steamers was fully eight miles an hour; so that the vessel would be, at least, thirty-two miles distant when the mast-head came to the horizon. The 6 feet of elevation of the telescope would require three miles to be deducted for convexity, which would leave twenty-nine miles, the square of which, multiplied by 8 inches, gives 560 feet; deducting 80 feet for the height of the main-mast, and we find that, according to the doctrine of rotundity, the mast-head of the outward bound steamer should have been 480 feet below the horizon. Many other experiments of this kind have been made upon sea-going steamers, and always with results entirely incompatible with the theory that the earth is a globe.”
  • 66) Dr. Rowbotham conducted several other experiments using telescopes, spirit levels, sextants and “theodolites,” special precision instruments used for measuring angles in horizontal or vertical planes. By positioning them at equal heights aimed at each other successively he proved over and over the Earth to be perfectly flat for miles without a single inch of curvature.
  • 13) In a 19th century French experiment by M. M. Biot and Arago a powerful lamp with good reflectors was placed on the summit of Desierto las Palmas in Spain and able to be seen all the way from Camprey on the Island of Iviza. (100 miles away)
  • 14) The Lieutenant-Colonel Portlock experiment used oxy-hydrogen Drummond’s lights and heliostats to reflect the sun’s rays across stations set up across 108 miles of St. George’s Channel.
  • 67) The distance across the Irish Sea from the Isle of Man’s Douglas Harbor to Great Orm’s Head in North Wales is 60 miles. If the Earth was a globe then the surface of the water between them would form a 60 mile arc, the center towering 1944 feet higher than the coastlines at either end. It is well-known and easily verifiable, however, that on a clear day, from a modest altitude of 100 feet, the Great Orm’s Head is visible from Douglas Harbor. This would be completely impossible on a globe of 25,000 miles. Assuming the 100 foot altitude causes the horizon to appear approximately 13 miles off, the 47 miles remaining means the Welsh coastline should still fall an impossible 1472 feet below the line of sight!
  • 68) The Philadelphia skyline is clearly visible from Apple Pie Hill in the New Jersey Pine Barrens 40 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, factoring in the 205 foot elevation of Apple Pie Hill, the Philly skyline should remain well-hidden beyond 335 feet of curvature.
  • 69) The New York City skyline is clearly visible from Harriman State Park’s Bear Mountain 60 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, viewing from Bear Mountain’s 1,283 foot summit, the Pythagorean Theorem determining distance to the horizon being 1.23 times the square root of the height in feet, the NYC skyline should be invisible behind 170 feet of curved Earth.
  • 70) From Washington’s Rock in New Jersey, at just a 400 foot elevation, it is possible on a clear day to see the skylines of both New York and Philadelphia in opposite directions at the same time covering a total distance of 120 miles! If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, both of these skylines should be hidden behind over 800 feet of Earth’s curvature.
  • 71) It is often possible to see the Chicago skyline from sea-level 60 miles away across Lake Michigan. In 2015 after photographer Joshua Nowicki photographed this phenomenon several news channels quickly claimed his picture to be a “superior mirage,” an atmospheric anomaly caused by temperature inversion.
  • 72) October 16, 1854 the Times newspaper reported the Queen’s visit to Great Grimsby from Hull recording they were able to see the 300 foot tall dock tower from 70 miles away. On a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference, factoring their 10 foot elevation above the water and the tower’s 300 foot height, at 70 miles away the dock tower should have remained an entire 2,600 feet below the horizon.
  • 73) In 1872 Capt. Gibson and crewmates, sailing the ship “Thomas Wood” from China to London, reported seeing the entirety of St. Helena Island on a clear day from 75 miles away. Factoring in their height during measurement on a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference, it was found the island should have been 3,650 feet below their line of sight.
  • 74) From Genoa, Italy at a height of just 70 feet above sea-level, the island of Gorgona can often be seen 81 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Gorgona should be hidden beyond 3,332 feet of curvature.
  • 75) From Genoa, Italy at a height of just 70 feet above sea-level, the island of Corsica can often be seen 99 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Corsica should fall 5,245 feet, almost an entire mile below the horizon.
  • 76) From Genoa, Italy 70 feet above sea-level, the island of Capraia 102 miles away can often be seen as well. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Capraia should always remain hidden behind 5,605 feet, over a mile of supposed curvature.
  • 77) Also from Genoa, on bright clear days, the island of Elba can be seen an incredible 125 miles away! If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Elba should be forever invisible behind 8770 feet of curvature.
  • 78) From Anchorage, Alaska at an elevation of 102 feet, on clear days Mount Foraker can be seen with the naked eye 120 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Mount Foraker’s 17,400 summit should be leaning back away from the observer covered by 7,719 feet of curved Earth. In reality, however, the entire mountain can be quite easily seen standing straight from base to summit.
  • 79) From Anchorage, Alaska at an elevation of 102 feet, on clear days Mount McKinley can be seen with the naked eye from 130 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Mount McKinley’s 20,320 foot summit should be leaning back away from the observer and almost half covered by 9,220 feet of curved Earth. In reality, however, the entire mountain can be quite easily seen standing straight from base to summit.
  • 80) In Chambers’ Journal, February 1895, a sailor near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean reported having seen a vessel which turned out to be an incredible 200 miles away!
  • 81) The distance from which various lighthouse lights around the world are visible at sea far exceeds what could be found on a ball-Earth 25,000 miles in circumference. For example, the Dunkerque Light in southern France at an altitude of 194 feet is visible from a boat (10 feet above sea-level) 28 miles away. Spherical trigonometry dictates that if the Earth was a globe with the given curvature of 8 inches per mile squared, this light should be hidden 190 feet below the horizon.
  • 82) The Port Nicholson Light in New Zealand is 420 feet above sea-level and visible from 35 miles away where it should be 220 feet below the horizon.
  • 83) The Egerö Light in Norway is 154 feet above high-water and visible from 28 statute miles where it should be 230 feet below the horizon.
  • 84) The Light at Madras, on the Esplanade, is 132 feet high and visible from 28 miles away, where it should be 250 feet below the line of sight.
  • 85) The Cordonan Light on the west coast of France is 207 feet high and visible from 31 miles away, where it should be 280 feet below the line of sight.
  • 86) The light at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland is 150 feet above sea-level and visible at 35 miles, where it should be 491 feet below the horizon.
  • 87) The lighthouse steeple of St. Botolph’s Parish Church in Boston is 290 feet tall and visible from over 40 miles away, where it should be hidden a full 800 feet below the horizon!
  • 88) The Isle of Wight lighthouse in England is 180 feet high and can be seen up to 42 miles away, a distance at which modern astronomers say the light should fall 996 feet below line of sight.
  • 89) The Cape L’Agulhas lighthouse in South Africa is 33 feet high, 238 feet above sea level, and can be seen for over 50 miles. If the world were a globe, this light would fall 1,400 feet below an observer’s line of sight.
  • 90) The Statue of Liberty in New York stands 326 feet above sea level and on a clear day can be seen as far as 60 miles away. If the Earth were a globe, that would put Lady Liberty at an impossible 2,074 feet below the horizon.
  • 91) The lighthouse at Port Said, Egypt, at an elevation of only 60 feet has been seen an astonishing 58 miles away, where, according to modern astronomy it should be 2,182 feet below the line of sight!
  • 92) The Notre Dame Antwerp spire stands 403 feet high from the foot of the tower with Strasburg measuring 468 feet above sea level. With the aid of a telescope, ships can be distinguished on the horizon and captains declare they can see the cathedral spire from an amazing 150 miles away. If the Earth were a globe, however, at that distance the spire should be an entire mile, 5,280 feet below the horizon!
  • 93) The St. George’s Channel between Holyhead and Kingstown Harbor near Dublin is 60 miles across. When half-way across a ferry passenger will notice behind them the light on Holyhead pier as well as in front of them the Poolbeg light in Dublin Bay. The Holyhead Pier light is 44 feet high, while the Poolbeg lighthouse 68 feet, therefore a vessel in the middle of the channel, 30 miles from either side standing on a deck 24 feet above the water, can clearly see both lights. On a ball Earth 25,000 miles in circumference, however, both lights should be hidden well below both horizons by over 300 feet!
  • 94) From the highland near Portsmouth Harbor in Hampshire, England looking across Spithead to the Isle of Wight, the entire base of the island, where water and land come together composes a perfectly straight line 22 statute miles long. According to the ball-Earth theory, the Isle of Wight should decline 80 feet from the center on each side to account for the necessary curvature. The cross-hairs of a good theodolite directed there, however, have repeatedly shown the land and water line to be perfectly level.
  • 95) On a clear day from the highland near Douglas Harbor on the Isle of Man, the whole length of the coast of North Wales is often plainly visible to the naked eye. From the Point of Ayr at the mouth of the River Dee to Holyhead comprises a 50 mile stretch which has also been repeatedly found to be perfectly horizontal. If the Earth actually had curvature of 8 inches per mile squared, as NASA and modern astronomy claim, the 50 mile length of Welsh coast seen along the horizon in Liverpool Bay would have to decline from the center-point an easily detectable 416 feet on each side!
  • 96) From “100 Proofs the Earth is Not a Globe” by William Carpenter, “If we take a journey down the Chesapeake Bay, by night, we shall see the ‘light’ exhibited at Sharpe’s Island for an hour before the steamer gets to it. We may take up a position on the deck so that the rail of the vessel’s side will be in a line with the ‘light’ and in the line of sight; and we shall find that in the whole journey the light won’t vary in the slightest degree in its apparent elevation. But, say that a distance of thirteen miles has been traversed, the astronomers’ theory of ‘curvature’ demands a difference (one way or the other!) in the apparent elevation of the light, of 112 feet 8 inches! Since, however, there is not a difference of 100 hair’s breadths, we have a plain proof that the water of the Chesapeake Bay is not curved, which is a proof that the Earth is not a globe.”
  • 138) Another favorite “proof” of ball-Earthers is the appearance from an observer on shore of ships’ hulls being obfuscated by the water and disappearing from view when sailing away towards the horizon. Their claim is that ships’ hulls disappear before their mast-heads because the ship is beginning its declination around the convex curvature of the ball-Earth. Once again, however, their hasty conclusion is drawn from a faulty premise, namely that only on a ball-Earth could this phenomenon occur. The fact of the matter is that the Law of Perspective on plane surfaces dictates and necessitates the exact same occurrence. For example a girl wearing a dress walking away towards the horizon will appear to sink into the Earth the farther away she walks. Her feet will disappear from view first and the distance between the ground and the bottom of her dress will gradually diminish until after about half a mile it seems like her dress is touching the ground as she walks on invisible legs. Such is the case on plane surfaces, the lowest parts of objects receding from a given point of observation necessarily disappear before the highest.
  • 139) Not only is the disappearance of ship’s hulls explained by the Law of Perspective on flat surfaces, it is proven undeniably true with the aid of a good telescope. If you watch a ship sailing away into the horizon with the naked eye until its hull has completely disappeared from view under the supposed “curvature of the Earth,” then look through a telescope, you will notice the entire ship quickly zooms back into view, hull and all, proving that the disappearance was caused by the Law of Perspective, not by a wall of curved water! This also proves that the horizon is simply the vanishing line of perspective from your point of view, NOT the alleged “curvature” of Earth.
  • 142) People claim that if the Earth were flat, they should be able to use a telescope and see clear across the oceans! This is absurd, however, as the air is full of precipitation especially over the oceans, and especially at the lowest, densest layer of atmosphere is NOT transparent. Picture the blurry haze over roads on hot, humid days. Even the best telescope will blur out long before you could see across an ocean. You can, however, use a telescope to zoom in MUCH more of our flat Earth than would be possible on a ball 25,000 miles in circumference.

15 Replies to “Horizon Distance Proves Flat Earth?”

  1. Ronald Wieck

    It’s amazing how uneducated idiots who get all the math wrong believe that their deranged cult has overturned centuries of science.

    • On the Level

      Strange claim. What centuries of evidence? More like centuries of assumptions and wishful thinking and of course relatively recent NASA illustrations, computer generated imagery, fish-eyed lenses and bald faced deception. However, if you ever choose to provide any evidence despite centuries of blather I’d be happy to view it.

      Oh! Yes, some of us do know “real” math, not assumptions stuck into equations like Newton’s conjectured gravitational constant.


  2. Ronald Wieck

    Why do flatard science-illiterates seek to impose their mindless misunderstandings of basic science on their superiors?

  3. Parallax

    Please look up atmospheric refraction. It is a highly plausible explanation to all the experiments where distant objects should be hidden by earth‘s curvature, but turn out to still be visible.


      Refraction only works where there is a change in medium, such as when a pencil is dunked in a glass of water and the image moves to the side in the water.. It does not work when objects are in the same medium. It may account for the sun or moon appearing to be in alternate positions, but it cannot account for objects within our atmosphere, and similar atmospheric pressures not being hidden by Earth’s supposed ( in my opinion non-existent ) curvature.

      • Ryan

        That’s just simply not true. The refractive index of a medium is defined to be the speed of light in that medium divided by the speed of light in vacuum. But earth’s atmosphere is not a static medium with no changes. It has temperature gradients and density gradients caused by many phenomena such as solar radiation and humidity. The idea that the atmosphere is a constant medium that does not cause radiation to undergo refraction through it is incorrect. As a simple clear example, take a rainbow after a rainstorm. Different wavelengths in the visible spectrum transmit at different angles through water and cause the light to separate. That is clearly our atmosphere where refraction occurs. As a side note, I carried out the first couple examples here given the known radius of the earth and they were all clearly visible on a spherical earth. It’s a very simple calculation to do. Assume a spherical earth, form a right triangle and compute the arc angle. Try for yourself.

    • Meg

      It sounds a lot like “Never mind believing what you see, rather you should believe what we tell you, because science, the same authority who insists you’re imagining gender as well.”

      • Flat Earth Facts

        Yes. Science and scientists are stupid. They say that carbon is a dangerous poison. But all life on earth is carbon based. And yes, science says there is no male and female. That is only a social construct, and humans can just decide what sex they want to be. That is “SCIENCE”. So yes science is stupid and we can not listen to any of their rubbish nonsense.

  4. Mike Cote

    Is this the way refraction works? That the object remains visible the whole length of it’s supposed journey behind the curve. I think refraction would only raise certain areas of the distant foreground not the whole thing. Also, if this always happens – that objects remain visible behind the horizon, than it seems more likely that the refraction is at play when they become obscurred. Can you say which is more common?

    • hschuring

      A graph says more then words; https://www.physicsforums.com/attachments/atmospheric-refraction-png.230565/
      The most visible example of atmospheric refraction is when you follow a sunset closely, you see it move towards the horizon along its celestial path with an angulur velocity of 1° every 4 min. But close to the horizon it appears to slow down and also it appears to flatten. When the sun should geometrically be below the horizon it is still visible for a few minutes. In a navigation course and handbooks a standard (average) atmospheric refraction is always taken into account with the equivalence of enlarging the Earth’s radius with a foctor of 7/6.

  5. Will

    When you are told that proof of curvature is the bottom of the boat disappearing, only to bring it back into full view with a telescopic lens, would seem to disprove the curvature.

    I have been at the beach were the bottom of the pier was missing to the naked eye. This was viewable on the beach and in the water. Then using a telescopic lens I was able to bring the entire pier into view from the beach and water. I was also able to see beyond the pier using telescopiclens which i was not able to with the naked eye. At both locations, viewing and pier, the temperature was the same. The medium was the same above the water and beach.

    According to the curvature and viewing hight, a total of 45 feet should have been missing from the bottom of the pier behind the curvature of the earth.

    There is also long distance inferred photography, over 200 miles, examples that disprove curvature. So, if refraction is responsible for redirecting light, over 5 miles curvature, then please show me the refraction math that proves that?

    The medium here is over the earth’s surface, not viewing the sun through the different types of atmospheres, troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.

    • Flat Earth Facts

      Yes. There is obviously a problem here with globe earth model. The observed horizon distances very often do not match the theoretical ones that should be possible on an 8,000 mile diameter ball.

      However this is not proof the earth is flat. That is the issue discussed in this post. But to explain it, from the globe earth point of view, they would have to bring in some other idea, like, for example, they could say light does not travel in a straight line but curves around the earth… Enabling us to see things that, otherwise, would be hidden from our vision.

      But yes. This horizon distance problem is certainly an issue where projections of the globe earth model often fail.


    Refraction doesn’t work the way Globers think or claim it does & is proved in this video starting around the 12min mark.
    Globers say based on “science” refraction bends Light downwards to raise the terrain below upwards
    so they can see anything below the curve & be able to say “see it’s only Refraction, not a Flat Erath” ..
    (sorta like the other BS excuse they always use “it’s Gravity” to explain anything
    they are threatened with that might prove them wrong)
    Actually refraction does the opposite.. it bends light Upwards & objects or any terrain downwards
    through a cool moist atmosphere creating an Atmospheric Compression / Lensing effect.
    It also shows Absolute Proof of seeing past the imaginary curve using
    “infrared photography” that can pierce the atmosphere’s dense obstructions
    as Mt San Jacinto is shown in FULL ( though compressed ) at 123 miles away.
    Atmospheric Compression debunks the centuries old Globe proof of “Boats over the Horizon”.
    Bending light & showing the refracted results below not above is clearly seen in any image online of a glass of water with a pencil in it..
    the refracted pencil image is Below not raised Above the original inserted object.
    like this photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *