Misquotes of Nikola Tesla

Many flat-Earthers will tell you that Nikola Tesla is actually a flat-Earther. The supposed ‘evidence’ is a piece of quote that is claimed to be from Tesla himself; but in fact, it is not. It is actually a really terrible misquote, and an attempt to take the quote out of context.

The source of this problem is apparently a Facebook post that quotes Tesla, as well as a Facebook user named ‘Darrell Fox’.

“Earth is a realm, it is not a planet. It is not an object, therefore, it has no edge. Earth would be more easily defined as a system environment. Earth is also a machine, it is a Tesla coil. The sun and moon are powered wirelessly with the electromagnetic field (the Aether). This field also suspends the celestial spheres with electo-magnetic levitation. Electromag levitation disproves gravity because the only force you need to counter is the electromagnetic force, not gravity. Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable.”

These quotes are widely circulated in the flat-Earth circles. Apparently, at some point, the message got mixed up. Somehow they began to assume that the entire passage are from Tesla.

The only part that was said by Tesla is the last paragraph:

“Though free to think and act, we are held together like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them, each of us is only part of a whole.”

Some unscrupulous flat-Earthers even ‘simplified’ the paragraph, and then it got passed on as:

“The stars are attached to the firmament.”

The original quote by Tesla is from his article “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy with Special References to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy”, published by Century Magazine, June 1900.

It was only a figure of speech, emphasizing human togetherness in the energy problem. And obviously, it doesn’t refer to the figure of the Earth, or its motion.

In the same article, Tesla even mentioned the word ‘globe’ no less than 12×:

This metal, it would seem, has an origin entirely different from that of the rest of the globe.

It is a well-known fact that the interior portions of the globe are very hot, the temperature rising, as observations show, with the approach to the center at the rate of approximately 1 degree C. for every hundred feet of depth.

The difficulties of sinking shafts and placing boilers at depths of, say, twelve thousand feet, corresponding to an increase in temperature of about 120 degrees C., are not insuperable, and we could certainly avail ourselves in this way of the internal heat of the globe.

By realizing such a plan, we should be enabled to get at any point of the globe a continuous supply of energy, day and night.

I was confident, however, that with properly designed machinery signals could be transmitted to any point of the globe, no matter what the distance, without the necessity of using such intermediate stations.

The observation of this wonderful phenomenon impressed me strongly that communication at any distance could be easily effected by its means, provided that apparatus could be perfected capable of producing an electric or magnetic change of state, however small, in the terrestrial globe or environing medium.

That communication without wires to any point of the globe is practicable with such apparatus would need no demonstration, but through a discovery which I made I obtained absolute certitude.

For instance, by their use we may produce at will, from a sending-station, an electrical effect in any particular region of the globe; we may determine the relative position or course of a moving object, such as a vessel at sea, the distance traversed by the same, or its speed; or we may send over the earth a wave of electricity traveling at any rate we desire, from the pace of a turtle up to lightning speed.

My measurements and calculations have shown that it is perfectly practicable to produce on our globe, by the use of these principles, an electrical movement of such magnitude that, without the slightest doubt, its effect will be perceptible on some of our nearer planets, as Venus and Mars.

Its practical consummation would mean that energy would be available for the uses of man at any point of the globe, not in small amounts such as might be derived from the ambient medium by suitable machinery, but in quantities virtually unlimited, from waterfalls.

Men could settle down everywhere, fertilize and irrigate the soil with little effort, and convert barren deserts into gardens, and thus the entire globe could be transformed and made a fitter abode for mankind.

On the other hand if at any point of the globe energy can be obtained in limited quantities from the ambient medium by means of a self-acting heat-engine or otherwise, the conditions will remain the same as before.

As Abraham Lincoln said: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet just because there’s a picture with a quote next to it.”