Friday, 12 February 2016
Beyond The Ice Wall
Google the Flat Earth Society for a completely different cosmology:
Earth is a disk with the North Pole at its center and an impenetrable Ice Wall around the circumference;
thus, when we say that a ship circumnavigates Antarctica, they say that it sails around the edge of the disk;
the Sun, small and close, moves around the sky, only appearing to sink below the horizon;
no one knows how deep the Earth is or what is beyond the Ice Wall;
on the other hand, the possibly infinite plain beyond the Wall must be uninhabitably cold and dark - perhaps the equivalent of a cosmic vacuum.
This sounds like a dramatic cosmos that would be a perfect setting for fantasy novels by Poul Anderson. In his Viking fantasies, characters leave Earth/Midgard not by ascending into space but by sailing far enough North into Jotunheim. The Flat Earth has similar fictional possibilities and is an interesting proof that some people will believe anything.