Hold onto your gravity and orbits, because turns out the world is flat! That is what rapper B.o.B., known for such hits as “Airplanes” and “Nothin’ On You,” wants to prove by sending a satellite up into space. Both former and current astronauts have chimed in with their opinions, and personal experiences, on the subject.
Using his real name of Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr., the rapper recently set up a GoFundMe page for his “Show BoB the Curve” campaign, which seeks to raise $1 million for the purpose of proving that the Earth is flat — or round. He’s not entirely clear on that.
What is more clear is that B.o.B. is a fan of many conspiracy theories, and has been subscribing to the self-explanatory Flat Earth theory since at least January 2016. He posted on Twitter a photo of himself at a high elevation, pondering why he couldn’t perceive curvature in the horizon: “The cities in the background are approx. 16 miles apart… where is the curve? please explain this.”
The cities in the background are approx. 16miles apart… where is the curve ? please explain this pic.twitter.com/YCJVBdOWX7
— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson graciously answered the call:
@bobatl Earth's curve indeed blocks 150 (not 170) ft of Manhattan. But most buildings in midtown are waaay taller than that.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 25, 2016
After an ensuing Twitter feud, and then a rap song battle between B.o.B. and fellow rapper Tyson, the astrophysicist’s nephew, the former was not deterred from his faith that the people of Earth have been deceived since the days of Ancient Greece, when Pythagoras proposed a round Earth.
B.o.B.’s GoFundMe page originally asked for $200,000 to send one satellite high enough to prove his point, but has since raised the ante to $1 million so that he can employ every known resource to test his theory. He includes a brief explanation of his intentions:
“What’s up guys! Help support B.o.B purchase and launch multiple weather balloons and satellites into space, for experimental exploration. He’s donated 1k to the cause to get it going, and will be keeping you updated with step-by-step documentation of the process! Help B.o.B find the curve!”
What B.o.B. doesn’t explain is why and how he expects to use known science and technology to disprove what science and technology has steadfastly established for quite some time. While a quick google search and countless photographs of Earth as seen from space don’t seem enough to convince the rapper, perhaps some personal accounts would save him the trouble, and the wasted money, of his high-altitude endeavors.
To read the how the astronauts responded, please continue to page 2.