Socrates (470-399 BC) Provides an Astronaut’s Description of Earth. How did he know?


Ancient Greek writings provide some exciting insights on the advanced knowledge available at that time. Plato (428-347 BC) in his writings known as “Phaedo” or “on the Soul” describes dialogues in which Socrates (470-399 BC) deals with the afterlife one day before being executed by drinking hemlock. The words of Socrates reminds us of the descriptions of the Earth often given by astronauts in space.

In the extract that follows, Socrates clearly describes the Earth from above:

It is said, fellow that the Earth, if one could see it from above is like a ball made out of a dozen pieces of skin. It is a colourful sphere and its parts stand out from the colours that each one has. The colours used by painters here are just mere imitations of those colours.

The whole Earth is coloured by these colours which are brighter and clearer than the ones here. On of the Earth’s part is purple and of amazing beauty. Others are goldish  and others white from snow and gypsum rock. In this way the Earth is coloured with theses and other colours which are more beautiful than what we have seen. Even Earth’s cavities which are filled with air and water take on a shiny hue among the variety of the other colours. In this way one gets the impression of  colourful but uniform picture.”‘

Ancient civilizations such as the Greeks were even more advanced than we are led to believe. How was Socrates able to provide such a familiar description? Did he have the opportunity to fly in space or access to lost, secret or restricted knowledge?

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