# How to Show the Horizon is Below Eye Level, Using Actual Eyes

Discussion in 'Flat Earth' started by Rory, Jun 20, 2017.

1. ### RorySenior Member

Had an idea about how to very clearly and very easily show that the horizon isn't at eye level: take some pictures of some eyes!

You will need:

1. A camera
2. A high place with a level surface and a view to the horizon
3. A person pretty much the same height as you
4. The ability to hold a camera at eye height
5. Some fingers

Here are some examples of how this would work (though obviously not proofs, given a lack of measurements):

www.imgur.com/MwRkFgP

www.snopes.com/rumors/photos/tourist.asp

I guess there are a few possible explanations for this:

1. All these photos were taken by people significantly smaller than the person in them
2. Light has a mysterious, hitherto unknown quality that no one's previously suspected
3. The horizon is not at eye level, but actually below eye level

Like I say, these are not proofs: but they are examples of how this 'experiment' would work. What's necessary to make them 'proofs' are measurements. A camera that is verifiably at the same distance from a level surface as the subject's eyes.

NOTE: For the purpose of this experiment, the definition of "eye level" used is the one used by the flat earth believers themselves, and understood by most flat earth debunkers, rather than definitions perhaps found in art, dictionaries, marine biology, et cetera. That is:

1. "A plane perpendicular to the eye-end of a line between the centre of the earth and a point at the height of someone's eyes" (fancy term, assuming a spherical earth)
2. "A plane parallel to the ground, at the height of someone's eyes" (assuming a flat earth)
3. "The level of your eyes when you're standing up straight" (easy term)

Or, if diagrams make things more clear, this:

Source: scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s480x480/e35/17076631_1908417099392585_5646269886855380992_n.jpg

And in practical terms, as seen above: "eye level" is something which can never intersect with the horizon on a spherical earth, but would come imperceptibly close to intersecting with a horizon (were it possible to have a horizon) on a flat earth, at the elevations that most people operate at.

This is why showing whether "eye level" does or does not intersect with the horizon is a key and elementary way for people who believe the earth is flat to prove or disprove that the earth is a globe.

(Discussion of how to define "eye level" can be found here.)

Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
2. ### Henk001Active Member

Very good idea. And in addition to that: A takes a picture of B, switches position and hands over the camera and then B takes a picture of A against the same background. Lay the second picture over the first one. Any effect of difference in height will be averaged out.

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To be totally clear you'd probably want to video it.

People are all kinds of different heights, and people hold their cameras at different heights (sometimes even overhead). So it's open to cherry picking if you just go by internet photos. For example here:

There's three short people and one tall person. Since we don't know the height of the observer, or where they held their camera, then we can't determine anything from this.

However, the experiment suggested is obviously valid. And you could do similar things by sighting along a railing, or the floors of a nearby building, or a level.

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It's basically the same as using a theodolite, like:

But in some ways it's better because, as you say, it's actual "eye level". I think many believers have not really though what "eye level" actually means. They use it in a similar vague sense to "perspective".

It might be a little confusing as it has multiple dictionary meanings.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eye level
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/eye-level
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/eye_level
Which then raises another semantic problem with the FE folk, what does "level" mean? The dictionary definitions there might as well be written for a Flat Earth as they are all vernacular common usage. Even the OED contains this seeming contradiction:
The meaning of "the plane of the horizon" is not clear.

So it's understandable confusion can arise with "eye level"

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6. ### RorySenior Member

Good point. That's why I posted my pictures as examples, rather than proofs, and mentioned that they could all be the result of someone smaller than them taking the photos.

Done right, from a suitable elevation, it should work. Would be nice to see some flat earth believers try.

7. ### RorySenior Member

There is another way to discern eye level from such photos, and that's by using the lines of buildings to figure out how high the camera was. If the camera is above a level, such as a floor or a line of windows, drawing a line along that level will angle upwards, while if the camera was below a level, drawing a line will angle down - and if multiple lines are able to be drawn, they will converge at the vanishing point, on a level with the camera (ie, "eye level").

Unfortunately, the four images in the OP are not really suited for this: #3 and #4 don't have any lines in them; #1 doesn't have quite enough lines in it, and is probably too low resolution; while #2 doesn't have a very clearly defined horizon.

Still, skipping conveniently beyond all that...

From which we can deduce (taking into account the multitude of other similar evidence): the horizon is below eye level; the first picture was taken by someone smaller than the subject, or by someone holding the camera at the subject's chin level; the second picture was taken by someone of more or less equal height (I'm gonna say, judging by facial expressions, first picture by girlfriend, second picture by same-sex friend - but that's no doubt a posteriori reasoning. )

Here's a better photo of the old World Trade Center, with similar lines drawn in:

No eyes, but I think it demonstrates the point.

Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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8. ### TrailblazerModeratorStaff Member

That's a nice method. Here it is applied to a picture from the Willis Tower. The vanishing point (red lines) is clearly above the horizon (pink)

However, in a photo taken in a beach hotel close to sea level, the vanishing point virtually coincides with the horizon:

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9. ### deirdreModeratorStaff Member

mine don't. (your top line and bottom 2 lines are way crooked.

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10. ### RorySenior Member

I think a shot like that you have to be using lines on the same plane (or whatever the right terminology for that is).

If we use the right-hand wall only:

But using other objects in the room:

(Some included for comic, exaggerated effect.)

That hotel, by the way, is about 14 storeys, so it's expected that the vanishing point/eye level is about at the horizon - looks to me likes it's 1-2 pixels above.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
11. ### TrailblazerModeratorStaff Member

The lines just have to be parallel - I used horizontal lines that are parallel to the right-hand wall. (Wall panels, foot of bed, bedside table.) Obviously you can't use lines that aren't parallel, e.g. the chairs, but assuming that the bed and table are pushed flat against the wall means their edges are parallel to the wall panels.

Likewise if the picture extended off to the right, the window frames and the long side of the bed ought to converge pretty well at the horizon.

But yeah, you're relying on the room being square and horizontal lines being plumb. For big skyscrapers at least, I think you can assume the latter

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12. ### RorySenior Member

Parallel. That's what my didn't sleep last night brain was looking for.

I guess using furniture isn't super reliable - seems like it just needs to be a fraction askew to send the line way off course.

Also, is it a bit suspicious that we've all got our vanishing points in different places?

13. ### TrailblazerModeratorStaff Member

Yes

I must admit I did mine pretty rapidly so I wasn't being super careful. The picture is not really ideal either; there must be some better examples with more clearly defined horizontals close to the sea.

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14. ### HevachSenior Member

Is the hotel one a promotional picture? It might not even be a real horizon. It's hard to get that perfect scene outside (you need perfect weather with just right skies and surf and no jerks outside with a huge umbrellas all at the right time of day). It's not unusual to put a green screen outside and insert a perfect background for stuff like that.

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15. ### RorySenior Member

Maybe. But...

1. Is it a perfect scene?
2. Is it hard to get a scene like the one in the photo?
3. Is the weather "perfect"? Looks like a sky full of clouds to me.
4. Why wouldn't there be surf on the Atlantic?
5. There wouldn't be a beach in the shot to have people with umbrellas.
6. Is it hard to avoid taking photos at "the wrong time of day"?
7. Seems it'd be more difficult to do the green screen thing than just take a pic.
8. A google image search seems to show they don't mind too much about having dark skies and umbrellas in their photos. And that it would be a lot of work to have to green screen every shot through a window.

Still, good to bear in mind.

16. ### HevachSenior Member

That one is pretty perfect. Light fluffy clouds just thick enough for visual texture mirroring some gentle surf with just enough white caps to see it's water. It's easy to pick a time of day with the best lighting, but getting a brochure quality photo can mean that many days just don't offer the opportunity.

Seeing other pictures from the same place with less optimal pictures makes me think this one is real, but this is pretty close to what would be faked when an advertiser on a deadline needs to get to print by 5.

17. ### RorySenior Member

If they do green screen them, it's very cool that it's done by someone who knows just where to position the horizon.

PS Where I come from, that sky would be called "overcast"; light fluffy clouds would be more like we see on The Simpsons. "Perfect" is when there's not/barely a cloud in the sky.

18. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

Here is my contribution to "brickies prove the earth is not flat" from today:
Lat. 52.427895° Long. -4.080543° Lat. ~114m. Alt

19. ### RorySenior Member

But what is that showing? It just looks like a bit of sea to me. How does it prove that the earth isn't flat?

20. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

You draw lines along the bricks and see where they intercept, as above somewhere. I don't have suitable tools or much faith in brickies.

21. ### RorySenior Member

Can we be sure that they're perfectly level? Also, doesn't really look like there's much horizon on show. Plus may run into the problem I found in my post above, where not being aligned properly causes the results to be skewed.
Just a few minor problems with that: the image isn't high enough resolution; we can't clearly see the parallel lines on the bricks; and it's not really at a high enough elevation.

Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2017
22. ### TrailblazerModeratorStaff Member

It's pretty hard to see the lines of the bricks behind the chainlink fence.

23. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

MOD don't like you cutting holes.

24. ### Ranon151New Member

Yeah as I understand you shouldn't be able to see visible curve dip at these altitudes, even using parallel line perspective isn't reliable because of leveling error in the structures. Even from high altitude commercial airlines it should only be a few degrees down.

25. ### RorySenior Member

You seem to be conflating two things there: visible curve and dip of the horizon, neither of which can really be 'seen' from low elevations - ie, reliably detected with the naked eye - though horizon dip can be measured, from just a few hundred feet or so with something like a theodolite; and curve, as demonstrated in this thread, can be observed with careful data gathering and computer software.

From a plane at 35,000 the dip of the horizon is a little over 3°.

Parallel line perspective is good if you have a high enough building, sufficient parallel lines, and only want to show that the horizon is below eye level. See this post here for a demonstration of that.

26. ### Ranon151New Member

To clarify I was talking about horizon dip. In this case I was referring to Clouds Givemethewillies' post showing the brick lines converging above the horizon. As I understand at his altitude the horizon dip should be a fraction of a degree, so even small errors in leveling the structure would make that method unreliable.

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27. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

Imperial British Bricks(tm), like these, have a vertical pitch of 3" and a horizontal pitch of 9" if anyone is nerdy enough to try work out the numerical drop of the horizon.

28. ### RorySenior Member

I think you'd need a better image for that.

29. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

The thing is with bricks is that they are regularly spaced. so you don't need to see them all.

30. ### RorySenior Member

Seems like a lot of work, when you can just scroll up and dig those lovely WTC pics.

Or check out Sly Sparkane's Empire State vid, which uses the same technique:

31. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

That's why I gave it away!

No sea, no numbers.

I might try to do better next time I take the dog on a 4 mile walk..

(Edited for reasons.)

Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
32. ### RorySenior Member

Cool. I'd definitely be up for drawing some lines if I can see 'em, and the picture has a high enough resolution. I noticed later that where you were is over 370 feet, so should be high enough to show a gap between eye level and horizon.

33. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

I think I made a point of having the camera on the widest setting, and then cropped it. This was because it has been previously checked to be rectilinear for that setting. I shut the aperture right down but still had a problems with autofocus, and dog.

34. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

Not much help, but here is the original and also a more zoomed version:

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35. ### RorySenior Member

Agreed.

I think the only way to use this pic is if you have that photoshop tool that removes fences.

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36. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

Perhaps I could make a small hole, or two, that looks like it was made by one of their rockets misfiring.

37. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

If anybody can show they can do brick parallax geometry I undertake to check they are level with my special bubble.

38. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
39. ### Clouds GivemethewilliesActive Member

| just need to go and count some brick now to work out how far from the camera they are, and also check that they are level.

40. ### RorySenior Member

Bravo, sir. One question:

Did you draw lines along all the mortar lines and see where they meet up, or did you find a point where a few of the lines meet and than draw lines from that to the points at the right?