A pair of Flat Earthers from northern Italy breached quarantine on a mission to find the edge of the earth despite Italy's lockdown. In a story published on Tuesday, the middle-aged couple set sail from Sicily determined to reach the remote island of Lampedusa with strong beliefs that it epitomises the edge of a flat world.
The couple bravely undertook their escapade amidst coronavirus restrictions across Italy and traveled from Veneto to the Sicilian port of Termini Imerse. Fully intent on reaching their destination, they decided to sell their car and in its place purchased a boat.
From the port, they set their course to Lampedusa, which is an island far south off the coast of Sicily and Tunisia. However, the couple ended up stranded on the island of Ustica, about 60 kilometres to the north-west side of Palermo. They were not even remotely anywhere near their desired destination.
Disoriented from their journey, the couple docked at Ustica "tired, thirsty, and risking shipwreck," said local media.
Salvatore Zichici, a doctor at the maritime health department who assisted the couple upon their arrival, pointed out the biggest flaw in their Flat Earth theory.
"The funny thing is that they used a compass, an instrument that works on the basis of terrestrial magnetism, a principle that they, as flat-Earthers, should reject," the Sun reports.
Upon disembarking in Ustica, the man and woman were escorted to the Sicilian capital of Palermo. They were both subjected to quarantine on board their boat for a total of 15 days.
Despite their failed navigation, the couple was undeterred and attempted to flee and return to sea. Unfortunately, their 3-hour escape did not turn out as planned and both were picked up by the harbour master just a short distance from the coast. The couple was once again escorted back to port. From there, they worked out another unsuccessful plan of escape ending up in the home of a man who falsely claimed to be infected with coronavirus.
Authorities eventually caught up with them and were returned home to Veneto by land.
In theory, Flat Earthers have a conception that the earth is shaped as a plane or disc. It was disproved by Aristotle in 330BC with Pythagoras presenting the idea that the earth is round during the 6th century.
Many flat Earthers still uphold the theory today banding together in several sects such as the Flat Earth Society. To date, modern flat earth theorists believe the earth is a disc surrounded by mountains and a massive wall of ice claiming that the government is responsible for the lies about the earth being round.