Dropping Object Experiments

An object falling straight downward will be slightly deflected due to Earth’s rotation. It is the Coriolis effect that arises from the vertical motion of the object. Several experiments have confirmed it since the 18th century.

Flat-Earthers claim that we cannot observe the deflection from falling objects, and they use it as “evidence” that Earth is stationary. In reality, it is possible to detect and measure the deflection with careful observation and a significant height, but the amount of deflection is too small in everyday scenarios.

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Coriolis Effect Misconception & Strawman Argument

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The Coriolis effect acts on an object that is launched to another location closer to or farther from Earth’s axis of rotation. The object retains the inertia from the surface it was launched from, but it no longer matches what is required to keep it moving in a straight line, according to an observer on the surface.

On the equator, Earth’s surface is moving at a speed of 465 m/s. Flat-Earthers assert that if that is the case, then an object launched upward should move away from the observer at the same speed. It does not happen, and they use it to disprove the Coriolis effect and Earth’s rotation in general. In reality, the Coriolis effect is not what they describe.

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Coriolis Effect in Sports

Many sports involve launching balls into the air. Launched balls are projectiles and will be deflected by a tiny amount due to the Coriolis effect from Earth’s rotation.

Athletes never account for the Coriolis effect, and flat-Earthers use it to “disprove” Earth’s rotation. In reality, the deflection from the Coriolis effect in sports is very tiny. It does not mean the Coriolis effect does not exist.

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Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis force is a force that acts on objects that are in motion within a rotating frame of reference. Because the Earth is a rotating sphere, an object traveling unattached to Earth’s surface is affected by the Coriolis force, depending on its speed and direction, as well as its latitude on Earth’s surface.

The rotating motion of the Earth causes the different parts of Earth’s surface to have different linear speeds, depending on its distance from the Earth’s rotational axis. An object moving from a location to another with a different linear speed will be affected by the Coriolis force because the motion of the object is now being observed from another location with a different linear speed/direction relative to Earth’s rotational axis.

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Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull Stratos

Red Bull Stratos was a high-altitude diving project involving Felix Baumgartner. In 2012, Felix Baumgartner flew 39 km (24 mi) into the stratosphere in a helium balloon before free falling in a pressure suit and then parachuting to Earth. Flat-Earthers invented various excuses to dismiss the resulting footage from the project.

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The Foucault Pendulum Proves Spherical and Rotating Earth

The Foucault Pendulum is an experiment to demonstrate Earth’s rotation, named after French physicist Léon Foucault. The Foucault pendulum is the first simple and direct evidence of the Earth’s rotation. It is a straightforward experiment: a huge pendulum is allowed to swing throughout the day, and it will slowly rotate because of Earth’s rotation.

For any flat-Earthers, the Foucault pendulum is one of the facts that must be discredited. They would invent various “explanations” to reject the conclusion of the experiment. They are wrong. Anyone is free to repeat the experiment, and when done correctly, it will result in a consistent result and in line with expectations.

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Long-Range Snipers and the Coriolis & Eötvös Effects

When a sniper shoots a long-range target, if he is in the northern hemisphere, the bullet is deflected to the right. Conversely, if he is in the southern hemisphere, the bullet is deflected to the left.

The phenomenon occurs because the Earth is spherical and rotating.

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Cyclonic Rotation: The Direction a Cyclone or Hurricane Rotates

A cyclone or hurricane rotates in a different direction depending on which hemisphere it occurs. A cyclone rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

The phenomenon happens because of the Coriolis effect, which in turn occurs because the Earth is spherical and rotating.

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