“I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat.” -Shaquille O’Neal
Perhaps the reason so many of us don’t quite believe the Earth is round is because we can’t directly see it for ourselves. At any point we happen to be on the Earth’s surface, when we look around in all directions, it appears to be flat. On his great sea voyage, Magellan and his crew never once perceived the Earth to be round, yet they circumnavigated the entire globe after enough distance had been traveled.
Shaq may never have noticed the Earth’s curvature at any point along his I-10 drive from Florida to California, but if he had just gone a little farther — into the ocean — he could have seen it for himself. The effects of Earth’s curvature will cause buoys to appear more distant, closer to the horizon, and eventually to slip over it, depending on your height above sea level and your distance to the buoy.