WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of State on Monday issued a travel advisory urging Americans to exercise “increased caution” when traveling to the South Pole amid reports of mounting fatalities associated with the region’s rapidly expanding flat Earth tourism industry.
“This is a largely unregulated industry,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement posted to the department’s website. “As the United States does not maintain an embassy or consulate in Antarctica, travelers should accept and assume all risks, dangers, and hazards when journeying to the edge of the Earth.”
Presently, Argentina and Australia are the only countries offering flat earth enthusiasts and skeptics alike the unique opportunity to visit the edge of the Earth. “Given its close proximity to the South Pole, Argentina has become the de facto destination for tourists from all walks of life who wish to see for themselves what NASA and the ruling elite have spent more than half a century trying to cover up,” said Alan Beckinsdale, an American expat and owner of the Argentina-based Edge of the Earth Tours company.
While companies like Beckinsdale’s advertise their services as being “completely and totally risk-free,” critics blame lax restrictions and oversight for an already substantial loss of life. “Antarctica serves as a barrier or ice wall –think: Game of Thrones– that prevents the world’s oceans from spilling over into the void,” Oliver Johnson, a senior official at Australia’s Department of Tourism, told Real News Right Now. “The problem right now is many of these guides are allowing people to go right up to the edge, and, of course, you’re standing on a solid slab of ice where it’s very easy to slip and fall.”
Australian health officials say an estimated 2,700 people have fallen into the void since November of 2018. However, according to Johnson, the loss of human life is only the tip of the iceberg. “There is growing concern that the climate crisis coupled with increased human activity in the South Pole could cause the ice wall to melt, which would result in the catastrophic loss of ninety-seven percent of the world’s water and, in effect, would lead to the extinction of all life on Earth,” Johnson told Real News Right Now.
Despite its inherent risks, the rapidly growing flat earth tourism industry shows no signs of slowing. “Many people who still ascribe to the archaic theory that the earth is round are coming here to discover the truth,” said Edge of the Earth Tours founder Alan Beckinsdale. “It is a truly humbling experience,” Beckinsdale professed, adding that interest in flat earth tourism is “quickly becoming a global phenomenon.”