Flat Earthers Quarantined After Taking Wrong Route Trying to Find End of the World

Two flat-Earthers were forced to quarantine after trying to reach "the end of the world" during Italy's lockdown.

The pair, a middle-aged man and woman from Venice, set out to prove their theory that the world is flat by attempting to set sail to Lampedusa, an island between Sicily and North Africa.

The flat-Earthers left Venice during the Italian lockdown and went to Termini Imerese, a town on Sicily's north coast, where they sold their car and bought a boat. From there, they headed for Lampedusa, which is off the south coast of Sicily, and therefore would require the couple to sail around the island.

However, the boat didn't make it to Lampedusa, and instead, the flat-Earthers ended up on the island of Ustica, off Sicily's northwest coast, exhausted and tired.

This long-exposure photograph from the International Space Station was taken during an orbital night period and reveals the Milky Way glittering above a bright but exaggerated atmospheric glow that blankets the Earth's horizon. Two flat-Earthers from Italy were forced to quarantine after breaking lockdown restrictions and getting lost while trying to find the end of the world. NASA

Salvatore Zichichi, a doctor of the maritime health office of the Ministry of Health who helped the pair after they got lost, pointed out that they were using a compass to help them navigate and said: "The funny thing is that they orient themselves with the compass, an instrument that works on the basis of terrestrial magnetism, a principle that they, as flat-earthers, should reject."

The explorers were taken to quarantine. They tried to escape and return to the sea but were again stopped and taken back to quarantine. A few days later, they tried to escape again but were unsuccessful.

While this pair of flat-Earthers believe the end of the world is in Lampedusa, the Flat Earth Society believes that: "The Earth is surrounded on all sides by an ice wall that holds the oceans back. This ice wall is what explorers have named Antarctica.

"Beyond the ice wall is a topic of great interest to the Flat Earth Society. To our knowledge, no one has been very far past the ice wall and returned to tell of their journey. What we do know is that it encircles the earth and serves to hold in our oceans and helps protect us from whatever lies beyond."

Other beliefs held by the Flat Earth Society include the theory that the Earth is not a planet by definition, and that planets and the Sun move around the Earth and that the Sun moves in circles around the North Pole.

However, there is also disagreement within the Flat Earth community, with members coming up with dozens of theories to explain why the Earth is not a globe.

For example, one theory claims that the Earth is like a Pac-Man game. Just as Pac-Man reaches one end of the screen and appears on the other side, some flat-Earthers believe that this kind of teleportation is a logical possibility and explains why people don't fall off the edge of the world when they reach the end.

While the flat Earth theory may seem like a harmless—though bizarre—theory, it has been criticized for normalizing and promoting distrust in science and institutions.