Internet Fiercely Debates Photo of Lumpy Earth: ‘Absolutely Not the Shape’

A viral video that claims the Earth is not a perfect sphere and is instead somewhat lumpy has gone viral on the social media platform, TikTok.

In a video shared on the platform, TikTok user holly.moffat who goes by Holly revealed she had been left dumbstruck after she learned the globe’s supposed shape—a claim that would be fiercely contested in the comments section.

The clip proved to be a hit online and racked up more than 5.8 million views since it was uploaded on Sunday, June 19.

But the actual truth will still disappoint flat-Earthers, who are still wrong, as our planet is a type of ellipsoid that can be viewed as a somewhat stretched sphere in places.

As the video played, Holly spoke to the camera with pictures of somewhat lumpy images of the Earth behind her.

Stock image of the planet Earth
Stock image of the planet Earth. The TikTok user appeared to be stunned by the revelation that the Earth is not exactly round.

The images seen in the video are, however, exaggerated images with one being taken from the European Space Agency’s Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) that showed the planet’s surface is “exaggerated” by a factor of 7,000, according to New Scientist.

It said the increased exaggeration would make the pits and crests appear taller or shallower in the image.

According to the National Ocean Service (NOS), while the Earth appears like a sphere from space it is a unique shape that is “ever-changing.”

It added: “Our planet is pudgier at the equator than at the poles by about 70,000 feet. This is due to the centrifugal force created by the Earth’s constant rotation.

“Mountains rising almost 30,000 feet and ocean trenches diving over 36,000 feet (compared to sea level) further distort the shape of the Earth. Sea level itself is even irregularly shaped. Slight variations in Earth’s gravity field cause permanent hills and valleys in the ocean’s surface of over 300 feet relative to an ellipsoid.”

The NOS also said the shape of the planet sometimes changes due to events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or meteor strikes.

In the clip, which can be seen here, Holly said: “How after 21 years of living on this planet am I only now just finding out that this is the shape of the Earth? And that it’s not perfectly round. How my mind is blown.”

Her claims stunned several people on TikTok who raced to the comments section to point out that what was said was not true and went on to like the video some 15,700 times.

Many commenters said the Earth would not be perfectly round due to the mountains and deep oceans that exist on the planet.

A commenter posted: “It’s highly exaggerated. In reality, Earth would be smoother than a bowling ball if they were the same size.”

Another said: “That is absolutely not the shape of Earth, in proportion anyways.”

A third posted: “That’s a very exaggerated version of the small ups and downs on the surface. If you Google the NASA blue marble image that’s what it looks like.”

One TikTok who referenced the exaggerated images said: “Even the Earth has unrealistic beauty standards.”

Meanwhile, a fifth person commented: “This is the earth’s gravitational field, measured by GOCE not the physical shape.”

Holly later admitted she wasn’t sure about the content she had posted and added: “I have no idea how true this is guys. I just Googled ‘actual shape of Earth’ after a friend told me he was learning about it at uni[versity].”

Newsweek has contacted Holly for comment.


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