observation balloon


This is another episode of "Flat Earth Falsities". This time we're going to look

at Rob Skiba's fuzzy ball logic and the eye level horizon. In this continuing

series I will debunk the claims of flat earthers. Let's take a quick look inside

the brain of a flat earther to see what we are dealing with. Narrator: Oh look at the

condition of your mind, antiquated ideas, bungling, false concepts, superstitions,

confusion. To think straight we'll have to clean house

sorry I couldn't resist. In this episode we are going to look at a video from the

seemingly endless source of scientific confusion that is Rob Skiba's YouTube

channel. in his video called "How Pythagoras and Aristophanes gave us the

flat earth trump card", he displays some fuzzy logic when it comes to

understanding how a sphere works, confuses concepts, omits critical math,

disregards the scale of the earth, and even

misconstrues my own horizon video, but he actually starts out with some correct

analysis. Skiba: if PJ was 6 feet tall and he had a clone was also 6 feet tall right

who walked 1 mile away from him the ground his clone would be standing on

would be 8 inches lower than the ground that he was standing on, right, again the

curvature math is 8 inches per mile squared, so the first mile 1 times 1 is 1

times 8 is 8 inches so the ground from point A to point B the point B is going

to be 8 inches below point A, right you with me so far

now if the clone had a clone who walked another mile away that clones ground

would be 32 inches below PJ's ground why because it's 8 inches per mile squared 2

miles, ok, 2 times 2 is 4 times 8 is 32 so the ground that clone number 2 is

standing on is 32 almost 3 feet below the ground the PJ standing on and if we

had yet another clone who was to walk one more mile his ground would be 72

inches or 6 feet below PJ's thus the top of clone number threes head would be

even with the bottom of PJ's feet now I'm not trying to see whether or not the

person can see the other person what I'm trying to show you is the issue of the

ground level the ground level is the issue that I'm focused on with this

example. VoysovReason: Skiba actually got everything right in

this clip, and I don't get to say that very often about flat-earthers videos. he

even used the correct calculation the correct way. the eight inches per mile

squared calculation does measure the drop from the horizontal

position of the viewer as he described it's not 100% accurate but it works as a

close approximation for distances under about 100 miles. flat earthers though

often misuse this calculation to determine how much of an object will be

hidden by the horizon. as I have said before it is the wrong calc to use for

that. it actually measures the drop from an imaginary horizontal line extended

out from the viewer's feet, as you can see in the chart that Skiba himself shows

because of this, this measurement is not really useful for anything. when we look

at the earth we care about where the surface is not where the horizontal is

but as I said his analysis is correct so far but here is where Skiba makes his

first error and it's a big one. Skiba: because if clone number threes ground is 72

inches below the ground that PJ standing on its going to be physically impossible

for PJ to look straight ahead or to the left of the right or behind him and ever

expect to see the horizon at his eye level it can not be done. VoysovReason: yes the horizon

will be below eye level, but by how much? he leaves out this critical component

Skiba forgot to ask by how much does the horizon drop below eye level

he never even attempts to calculate it, or even approximate it in any way, yet it

is critically important. since now he is talking about viewing

the horizon at a distance, the number of inches of drop is just not enough

information. you need to combine the number of inches of drop with the

distance to determine the viewing angle. what is the angle? by how many degrees

you have to tilt your head down to see the horizon? from this point on I will

call this the horizon dip angle. well, this is actually pretty easy to

calculate but Skiba neglected to even mention it

in his example we have a six-foot man looking out at the horizon three miles

away. the horizon has dropped by 72 inches from the horizontal, as Skiba

correctly pointed out, so this forms a triangle - a very, very, very, skinny

triangle. too skinny to portray adequately in an illustration. if I drew

it to the correct scale, it would just look like a line, not a triangle. this

side is 72 inches for the height of the viewer, plus 72 inches of drop below his

feet for a total of 144 inches, and this side is three miles which is a hundred

and ninety thousand and eighty inches. I gave it an inches to illustrate just how

skinny of a triangle it is. and from this information we can calculate the horizon

dip angle using simple trigonometry. I've shown the calculation on the screen in

case you want to check it but you can also calculate it at Metabunk.org\curve

just by plugging in the height and distance. the answer comes out to 0.04

three degrees. that's right it's only 4% of one degree. that is a very tiny angle.

another way to think about this is to imagine how small 12 feet is when viewed

from 3 miles away. well, we don't have to imagine it, we can check it. the Empire

State Building, seen here from the Freedom Tower, is just under 3 miles away

and each floor is 12 feet high so in this picture you can see how small 12

feet is from that distance. from the top of each window to the top of the window

above it is 12 feet, and that is about how much the horizon has dropped over

that distance, a tiny amount to the naked eye. do you really think that you're

going to notice that tiny of a drop from the horizontal just by looking at it?

No, of course not it's just so small it is undetectable to the naked eye and it

would take a very accurate measuring device such as a theodolite to measure

such a tiny angle down from the horizontal

Skiba is right that the horizon will always be below eye level, but the amount

is very very tiny especially at the low heights we ordinarily experience.

sometimes in science our intuition alone is not good enough. it doesn't seem like

the angle would be that tiny but it is. every time Skiba says "looking down", think

of the critical number he leaves out you're looking down by 4% of one degree

he also said that the size doesn't matter but of course it does. now I

realize that he is saying that no matter the size of the ball the ground does

immediately begin to drop away and that is true, but the size of the ball affects

how fast it drops away and that is critically important. the horizon does

drop no matter how big the ball is but the bigger the ball the smaller the drop

if we look at his beachball example we can see that he shows a very steep angle

down to the horizon. to be fair he never represented this as a reasonable scale,

and of course it isn't, but let's see what happens if we make the ball bigger.

the bigger the ball gets the smaller the down angle gets the earth is extraordinarily

big, and therefore the horizon dip angle is extraordinarily small. too small

to notice with a naked eye, and too small to even adequately illustrate. size matters.

that's why the horizon looks like it's at eye level, because it very

nearly is. Skiba even said that math doesn't lie, and he's right, unless of

course you leave out a critical part of the math, like he did. okay so what if I go

higher you might ask. surely the horizon will drop below my

eye level. well yes but due to the geometry of a sphere

something happens that flat earthers just don't consider. the higher up you go

the farther away the horizon gets so the angle does not increase as fast as your

elevation increases. this is another important factor Skiba completely left

out. as the adjacent side gets a little bigger, the hypotenuse gets a lot bigger

and therefore the dip angle stays very low. again it is difficult to illustrate

this and give you an idea of the true scale. angles simply don't scale. the

earth is just way too big and we are way too small to do it justice in an

illustration but if you draw it like this

you can at least get the correct idea Skiba had no interest in even trying to

make the angle look realistic. he seemed to greatly exaggerate it on purpose and

never tried to quantify the size of the angle in any way. this is a blatant error

of omission that invalidates his whole argument

so now Skiba shows a clip from my video proving the earth is not flat part one

and tries to prove me wrong this is the critical part the now-infamous orange

analogy. Clip: to picture what I mean look at this orange. if I take a thin slice of it

I get a round disc. the edges of it where the knife cut through is a flat circle

that is what you see when you look at the horizon - the edges of a circle. the

edges don't curve side to side, they run straight across our view and since we

are always in the center of the circle they don't curve down. Skiba: my first question

is why is this dude wearing fingernail polish but I guess everybody's entitled

to their thing. but my other observation was after he said if I take an orange

and slice it off, um, sorry you can't do that. if if your orange is representing

the earth you've got to leave its spherical nature intact. you can't slice

off the top of the sphere that you're using as your example and then say

'that's why everything is flat because I just sliced off the curve'. VoysovReason: what? no, that

is not my argument at all. Skeeball completely misconstrued my point. many

reasonable people understood what I was saying, but flat earthers seem to have

a problem with comprehending analogies. every day I get dumb comments like, "uhh, so

who cut the earth?" I repeatedly said the edges of the slice represent the horizon

line. I never said the surface of the earth is flat like the cut off orange.

Skiba: anyway let's go back to a captain fingernail polish and see what other

piece of amazing logic he has for us Clip: when you can see the horizon in all

directions, it is the same distance away in all directions. so when you spin

around it looks exactly like a straight line and comes back around to join

itself. think about that. if it were curved down, it would not come back

around and join itself at the same level. Skiba: Exactly!

if it were curved it would be dropping off eight inches per mile squared from

every point upon which you are standing that is inescapable ball-earth math. Wow.

VoysovReason: did you see what he did there? I am talking about the flatness of the

horizon, and he is talking about the curvature of the surface. these are two

different concepts he doesn't seem to be able to separate. yes the surface does

curve down away from you very gradually but the horizon does not look curved

from our vantage point. I was simply trying to demonstrate that the

cross-section of a sphere is always a flat circle, and the horizon we see is

equivalent to the edges of a cross-section of a sphere. this is basic

geometry. I tried to make it simple, but somehow I apparently just add the

confusion to the already confused. perhaps I could have explained it better

but the only point I was trying to make, is the shape of the cut is the shape of

the horizon, and the shape of the cut off part of the orange is the shape of the

part of the earth we can see from our vantage point on the surface or even

high above the surface. we simply cannot see the earth like we

see a beach ball unless we are far out in space we can only see a small part of

it, and that part is very slightly curved on the surface in all directions with a

flat circular edge. this is just a fact of geometry. the blue circle on Skeevies

beach ball is another good example of the shape we see, but remember we always

view this shape from the center so the horizon forms a circular line around us

beyond which we cannot see any more of the surface

Skooby actually seems to understand this momentarily. Skooby: to be fair I do understand

what captain finger nail polish's saying here, this is a typical argument that

I've heard lots of times actually. ball earthers will claim, that just like the

blue circle the top of the beach ball here that's the visible horizon. so from

whatever point you're standing on and you're looking out toward the horizon

and 360 degrees that line is going to be the same, it's always

going to be right there. VoysovReason: but just a few minutes later he contradicts himself and

shows the horizon looking like this. no it should not look like that we live on

a sphere not a cylinder.

Skiba: people who think ships are disappearing over the curve in less than 10 miles

distance it's got to work both ways I mean if we're on a ball then when the

ship is going away from you on the let's say the z-axis going you know from you

to a point away from you and it's rolling over the ball in less than 10

miles then you should have the exact same effect looking left to right on the

x-axis you should be seeing ships rolling up to the top of the ball and

rolling down on the lateral x-axis you know I mean if it's ball it's got to be

they got to be rolling both ways away from you and side-to-side we never see

that though you can go to the beach and do a panoramic shot and put a parallel

line over it and from end to end and this is a lot more than just five miles

there's no perceived curvature here. none. flat as a pancake. in fact these are some

pictures I took on the beach at Malibu California

and I went from there way up into the mountains above Pepperdine University

and looked out and I mean easy there's got to be probably close to 100 miles

left to right the distance on the horizon there is it's got to be you know

quite a bit there put a parallel line over it - flat. so you can't have it both

ways you can't say ships are rolling over the ball on the z axis without

having the same exact perception on the x axis. VoysovReason: okay so here, Skillsaw is

confused between the path of a boat and the horizon. yes, ships going in any

direction are following the curve of the earth but the question is, how will we

see that? when they go over the horizon it is easy to see, as the bottom of the boat

will become hidden by the horizon. what he shows is what people have seen for as

long as there have been ships. but how exactly do expect to see the curve of a

boat's path as it is traveling laterally across your view? remember the horizon

forms a circle around the viewer, and boats tend to travel

in straight lines, not in circles, and most certainly we don't expect a boat to

follow a circular path that directly matches our horizon. so a boat traveling

laterally across our view will either be in front of the horizon, behind the

horizon, or a combination of both. if it is in front of the horizon it will look

something like this. the horizon, again, is flat, but the surface is not. I illustrated

the curve of the surface with these grid lines but it is greatly

exaggerated. the boat will curve around the surface, but again the amount is very

small, and it is going to be very difficult to detect. I filmed this boat

crossing my view. at this distance the boat only traveled about half a mile

within the camera's field of view. I calculated this based on the length of

the boat. it is this 70-foot whale-watching boat. the curve of the

earth over this distance, one half mile, that is the "bulge height", is only one

half inch. that's right remember use the correct calculation for

the correct situation. we are now concerned with the bulge height between

points on the surface, not the drop from the horizontal, so don't be tempted to

use the 8 inches per mile squared calculation, that is the wrong count to

use in this case, and it overstates the amount of the curve seen from this

perspective, so do you actually think you could see a curve 1/2 inch up and 1/2

inch down from this distance? no, of course not. and if the boat is farther

away, the boats path is longer, but the distance is greater, so the bulge gets

bigger, but it is still too small and too far away to see or measure. and also, if the

boat is traveling in a straight line across your view then it is closer in

the middle and farther at the ends which also will make detecting the curve

difficult. a boat crossing a body of water laterally across your view does

curve with the surface but is just too slight to easily see. you can much more

easily see it as it travels away from you, because it goes over the horizon.

those little triangles drawn in apparently represent boats, but all he is effectively

showing here is that the horizon is flat. of course the horizon is flat, but the

surface isn't. when you see it more correctly, like this, you see the boat

will curve, but by a tiny amount. Skivy said this view is close to 100 miles

across, but in this picture it is considerably less than that. I live not

far from there and I am familiar with this view. this is Catalina Island, and

this is Santa Barbara Island, which is 25 miles from the tip of Catalina. so based

on that, this view is about 45 miles across. the bulge height for that

distance is 337 feet. that may seem like a lot, but remember we are looking at a

view 45 miles across. 45 miles is two hundred and thirty seven thousand, six

hundred feet. so a bulge of 337 feet is very tiny in comparison. since this

picture is displayed at 800 pixels wide, each pixel is 297 feet, and so the 337

foot bulge height would only be barely more than one pixel high. the thickness

of the white measuring line is three pixels, so a boat traveling across that

view will only curve up and down about one third of the height of that line. you

simply are not going to be able to see that. once again

Skiba shows how ignoring the huge scale of the earth and failing to quantify how

much the surface curves, leads them to a false conclusion. his expectations about

what we should see are all wrong. thanks for watching. be sure to see my

other series, "Proving the earth is not flat", in which I explain all the evidence

you can see for yourself that proves the spherical shape of the earth,

and also, please like, subscribe, comment, and share.

life is strange