Today's long-awaited total solar eclipse crossing over the United States is being met with consternation from Flat Earth enthusiasts who aren't quite sure how such an event is possible.
An enlightening survey of Flat Earth community members by the Philly Voice reveals that researchers of the controversial conspiracy theory can't seem to explain how the highly-anticipated event fits into their cosmological world view.
Among the most prevalent theories offered by Flat Earthers is that there are heretofore undiscovered 'invisible celestial bodies,' described in Vedic astrology, that somehow cause the eclipse to occur.
But that is a contentious concept which is hotly debated by researchers and other, less esoteric yet still rather arcane, reasons for the eclipse have been bandied about online as well.
With no consensus among the conspiracy theorists, the eclipse has caused many researchers to simply throw up their hands in confusion over the breathtaking event.
One member of the Flat Earth community told the website, "I find this eclipse topic so complex and very speculative. I think it is best left alone for now."
Another researcher conceded that "I'm honestly not sure what I think creates the eclipse or what it means."
Showing just how difficult explaining the event in terms of the conspiracy theory is, yet another person who advocates for the concept mused that, "we have to have something rise that causes eclipses in the flat-earth model. We think it's not necessarily caused by the moon, though it could be."
Compounding the confusion is that the nature of the moon, itself, appears to be up for debate in the Flat Earth community as one person shockingly remarked, "I really, really don't know what the moon is."
Despite all of this uncertainty surrounding the eclipse, Flat Earth aficionados hope that it will somehow provide evidence which will strengthen their case and some research groups are actually launching balloons during the event to capture this potential data.
Additionally, taking advantage of the excitement surrounding the eclipse, an Oregon Flat Earth research group has purchased a billboard in the state capital of Salem, where thousands of visitors will be flocking for a view of the event.
As in the past, the billboard buyers hope that the signage imploring people to examine the beleaguered conspiracy theory will resonate with the 'eclipse tourists' who will be passing through the city during the event.
So while they may not be able to all agree on how an eclipse happens, the Flat Earth community remains committed to their cause and aim to use the event to further spread the word about the odd concept.
And, with the next total solar eclipse due to pass over the United States in just six years, perhaps researchers can spend the time until then coming up with a theory that works within their world view and thus avoid all the confusion plaguing the community today.
Figuring out what the moon is might be a good place to start.
Source: Philly Voice