A dispute over the shape of the planet has erupted in a rather unlikely location as the Indonesian space program finds itself fending off Flat Earth fans who are targeting the agency on social media.
The odd conflict between scientists and advocates for the controversial conspiracy theory has actually been brewing in the country for quite some time.
It seemed to have reached a crescendo last year in what sounds like an unbelievable 'summit' of sorts where the head of the Indonesian space agency, Thomas Djamaluddin, actually met with a group of Flat Earth enthusiasts.
Reflecting on the showdown to the Jakarta Post, a spokesperson for the space agency uttered only four words, but they spoke volumes: "the discussion was intense."
According to Djamaluddin, the astronomer answered every question and challenge posed by the conspiracy theorists and continually attempted to explain why the Earth is round to no avail.
Indeed, the détente did not last long as Flat Earth aficionados soon set their sights on the space agency's social media accounts and began plastering the pages with messages about their cause.
After months of constant messages from the conspiracy theorists, Djamaluddin finally became fed up with the Flat Earth battle a few weeks ago.
"The fairytale of a flat earth is a public duping attempt," he declared on the space agency's Facebook page while explaining that he was banning the people who kept bringing up the conspiracy theory.
Although it can't be certain, it's assumed that these individuals came from the Indonesian Flat Earth Society which boasts an astounding and somewhat unsettling 25,000 members.
Being purged from the space agency's social media accounts may quell the conspiracy theorists for a little while, but recent history has shown that Flat Earth fans are particularly persistent, so it's probably safe to say that Djamaluddin hasn't heard the last of them.
Source: The Jakarta Post