Library of Congress Receives Rare Map Depicting Earth as Flat

Former North Dakota state senator Don Homuth received a special gift from his English teacher when he was in eighth grade. Concerned that he was the only person with a copy of this map, which depicts the Earth as flat, Homuth protected it. When he learned that the Pioneer Historical Museum in Hot Springs, South Dakota, had a second copy of the map, named "Square and Stationary Earth," Homuth decided to donate his copy to the Library of Congress.

The interesting thing about the map is that it was created about 120 years ago by Orlando Ferguson, then a practicing physician in Hot Springs. This is more than 500 years after most educated people gave up on the idea of the Earth as flat and accepted the spherical viewpoint first expressed by the Ancient Greeks. "Homuth referred to Ferguson as a 'self-appointed expert on the Bible who always contended that the Earth was flat and square," USA Today reported. "Ferguson published his beliefs in a book, titled The Square and Stationary Earth, and devised a map that he argued was 'the Bible map of Earth.'"

After receiving an email from Homuth describing the map, specialists at the Library of Congress decided it would make a unique addition to their collection. There are very few maps in existence that support the theory that the Earth is flat.

FlatEarthMap-Post.jpg

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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