152) “In 2003, three University Geography professors collaborated in an experiment to prove that the state of Kansas is indeed actually flatter than a pancake! Using topigraphical geodetic surveys covering over 80,000 square miles it was determined that Kansas has a flatness ratio of 0.9997 over the entire state while the average pancake, precisely measured using a confocal laser microscope comes in at 0.957, making Kansas thereby literally flatter than a pancake.”
This is fun, anyway!
Read the reports on this tongue-in-cheek research. You will find that they compared the pancake to the number of hills or valleys in Kansas using figures for height above sea level.;
“they then compared their pancake to an east-west profile of Kansas taken from a 1:250,000 scale digital model of the state’s elevation data, and calculated flatness estimates for each.”
Such heights are always measured relative to sea level , or in other words, to the smooth spherically- curved surface that the ground level would have if it was actually ocean. The flatness of Kansas means that it has very few hills that rise above the surrounding land, or hollow that fall below it. It doesn't mean that Kansas is actually a flat plate!
Read all about it here:
If these researchers had realised that anyone would be stupid enough to make this misunderstanding, they’d have warned against it.
But since, like every educated and moderately intelligent person in the last 500 years, they knew that there was no good reason to doubt the spherical shape of the Earth, they didn’t think it was necessary.