So there is this underwater fibre optic cable that is in the Indian Ocean called the SAFE cable system.

This is a cable built by a private company, Tyco Submarine Systems, and its furthest apart terminal ends are at Melkbosstrand and Penang.

According to the website, the total cable length is 13,500km.

Source:

http://www.safe-sat3.co.za/ (click on System Information)

The cable length (not geographical distance) from Melkbosstrand to Penang is 11,465 km according to the latency calculator.

Source:

http://www.safe-sat3.co.za/ (click on Configuration and enter Melkbosstrand and Penang at the bottom.)

Now, using the standard FE map, where longitude is like the angular coordinate and latitude is like the radial component (equator is half-way to the south rim from the north pole, lines of latitude are equally spaced. Assume earth radius of 20,000km, like the standard FAQ) I calculated the distance between the two cities.

Melkbosstrand is located at 33.723197S, 18.440552E

Penang is located at 5.274213N, 100.467224E

using the following python code, I estimated the distance between the two cities on the flat earth:

'''

import math

def toRad(x):

return x*math.pi/180

lat1 = -33.723197

lon1 = 18.440552

lat2 = 5.274213

lon2 = 100.467224

dy = (1-lat1/90.0)*math.sin(toRad(lon1)) - (1-lat2/90.0)*math.sin(toRad(lon2))

dx = (1-lat1/90.0)*math.cos(toRad(lon1)) - (1-lat2/90.0)*math.cos(toRad(lon2))

print

print "FE distance: %i km"% int(10000*math.sqrt(dy**2+dx**2))

print

'''

My output was:

>FE distance: 15546 km

This is much further than the entire length of the cable system, and longer than the length of the cable between the two cities.

This FE distance is in fact, this is 4,081 km longer than the length of the cable connecting the cities.

To give you a feel for 4000 km, thats about going from Canada to Mexico and back.

This means that, on a flat earth, the cable would need to be a minimum of 35.6% longer than its true value, and practically longer since the cable is not a straight line; it curves.

There is absolutely no way the company could not notice that they were producing and laying more than 4000 extra km of cable, or even contain this knowledge to high management levels.

How can FE explain this?