Undersea Cables on a Flat Earth


Senior Member.
I can't for the life of me find where it's been posted anywhere here, but I'm sure as a science teacher none of us need to write you an extensive explanation as to why that does exactly the opposite, eh?

Mick West

Staff member
I had muted that conversation shortly after explaining that. Twitter isn't very good for extended discussions with multiple people where your 140 characters is reduced to about 60. All I could squeeze in were these three points:

The basic clam is that if the Earth were a globe, then there would be cables between Australia, South Africa, and South America.

The reason there are not is that cables go where the people, the content, and the money is. The only reason why people in Chile would benefit from a direct internet cable to New Zealand would be if they were accessing servers in that country, or if they were doing some kind of peer-to-peer connection, like Skype or phone calls. All those things work fine (but slower) going the longer route via California & Hawaii, but really there does not seem to be any evidence of a need that would make commercial sense.

Most of the cable maps are schematic, here's a more realistic one showing the actual cable routes in detail:

And here's what it looks like on a hypothetical flat Earth:

So why no cable from New Zealand to South America (6,000 miles)? Basically because it's not worth it. Hawaii is closer (4,000 miles), and adding a cable from NZ to Hawaii costs $400 Million.
There's simply no compelling economic reason to spend a billion dollars on a cable from New Zealand to South America when the very limited internet traffic between the two regions can get there via other means. It's similar to the reasons why we choose to build bridges and tunnels where we do.

I say a billion because construction and maintenance costs will be much higher in that remote region of the world.

Of course its quite possible that such cables WILL be built in the future, when there's a compelling economic reason to do so, for example the the SAex cable is currently under construction, edging south a bit.

Most Internet traffic is server based - it's generally streaming do and from a large datacenter. The internet giants like Facebook, Youtube, Amazon Google, and Netflix have data centers that serve the local needs. People in New Zealand don't access data centers in Chile. They use the fastest one, which is generally the closest.

For example, Amazon has several major data centers around the world. Amazon has it's shopping business, but also has a huge business in renting out server space for cloud computing and site hosting, as well as their streaming video and music services. This map shows the eight largest data centers, with the red lines showing where that data center is fastest. Thus all of Africa uses the UK center, and most of South America uses the Sao Paulo data center.
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
On a flat earth the South Atlantic Express cable will be thousands of miles longer than it should be. That means even more people will be drawn into the ancient conspiracy to hide the true shape of the earth.

It only serves to prove how powerful the conspiracy is.

Mick West

Staff member
On a flat earth the South Atlantic Express cable will be thousands of miles longer than it should be.
And the North Atlantic cables would be shorter. Consider these two cables, Australia/NZ and Canada/UK

In the real world the UK cable is more than twice as long as the NZ cable, but on the flat Earth model, they are nearly the same length.


Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
In a way it's an example of Greylandra's cable experiment, that would actually work. Instead of distance above the earth's surface, we're measuring the earth's surface with a cable of known length.

It just needs a large enough distance to work.


Senior Member.
In a way it's an example of Greylandra's cable experiment, that would actually work. Instead of distance above the earth's surface, we're measuring the earth's surface with a cable of known length.

It just needs a large enough distance to work.
So all the flat earthers would need is a submarine and a ruler, and they could measure the cable for themselves?

If they can't believe that space agencies send satellites into orbit - among a thousand other things - how will they believe a cable laying company that says its cable was 4000-miles long, rather than 6000?

Mick West

Staff member
Yeah, it's not exactly a practical experiment. You have to trust that the the maps are accurate, and who made the maps?

I was wondering if there might be some way a practical experiment could be done with pinging - i.e. measuring the response time between servers on different continents.

Example pining from my desktop

My router, just 100 feet away:
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.394 ms

Somewhere in the US
PING cnn.com ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=53 time=24.383 ms

Probably in the UK
PING newswww.bbc.net.uk ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=44 time=159.144 ms

Also probably UK
PING hosting.co.uk ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=43 time=168.403 ms

PING digitalpacific.com.au ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=46 time=175.957 ms

PING sinohosting.net ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=46 time=185.918 ms
However it's rather difficult to know exactly where a server is, and exactly how it gets there. You can use traceroute to see steps along the way, for example:
bigmac:~ mick$ traceroute openhost.co.nz
traceroute to openhost.co.nz (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
 1 (  0.653 ms  0.316 ms  0.322 ms
 2 (  0.975 ms  0.788 ms  0.717 ms
 3  [My IP address].lightspeed.frokca.sbcglobal.net ()  18.871 ms  18.803 ms  20.659 ms
 4 (  19.180 ms  18.793 ms  18.848 ms
 5 (  19.422 ms (  20.090 ms (  22.042 ms
 6 (  24.637 ms  24.512 ms  24.248 ms
 7 (  25.798 ms  23.732 ms  24.886 ms
 8  xe-1-2-3.cr1-lax2.ip4.gtt.net (  34.273 ms
	xe-7-0-3.cr1-lax2.ip4.gtt.net (  32.747 ms
	xe-7-0-0.cr1-lax2.ip4.gtt.net (  33.627 ms
 9  ip4.gtt.net (  32.511 ms  31.711 ms  31.548 ms
10  bundle-150.cor01.lax01.ca.vocus.net (  157.980 ms  158.430 ms  157.950 ms
11  bundle-200.cor01.alb01.akl.vocus.net.nz (  156.094 ms  155.713 ms  155.743 ms
12  ten-2-3-0.bdr01.alb01.akl.vocus.net.nz (  155.767 ms  156.029 ms
	ten-1-0-0.bdr01.alb01.akl.vocus.net.nz (  157.833 ms
13  ip- (  157.074 ms  156.978 ms  156.901 ms
14 (  157.455 ms  157.492 ms  156.948 ms
15  www.openhost.co.nz (  157.114 ms  157.670 ms  157.140 ms
You can see it's mostly bouncing around SBC/AT&T in the US at 20 to 34ms distance, then gets on the gtt.net backbone, then does the big hop to vocus.net in Australia/NZ at around 155ms. If that's largely due to the distance you can do a very rough estimate of 120ms extra travel time. That's enough time for a laser beam to travel 22,000 miles in a vacuum, but cable signals travel slower, and there are repeater units that boost the signal (and I suspect introduce an additional delay).

Ultimately I think there are too many variables for this to be a useful illustration.
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