I went to one of the four corners of the world

Updated in September 2019 with info about new attractions!

According to the Flat Earth Society, Brimstone Head on Fogo Island is one of the Four Corners of the World. Really.

That Flat Earth Society is a group of people that claim to believe the Earth is flat. Pretty straightforward. I mean, if the earth’s surface looks and feels flat, shouldn’t it be…flat?

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say: “The Flat Earth model is an archaic belief that the Earth’s shape is a plane or disk. Most ancient cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD) and China until the 17th century.”

Even Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism pokes fun at it. Mostly because “flat earth” is so incroguent with the rocky, hilly topography of the entire Fogo Island.

The full list: Papa New Guinea, the Bermuda Triangle, Fogo, and Hydra (Greece).

Riley, Corbin, and I went in search of the trail that would take us to Brimstone Head. But as things are in rural Newfoundland, the signage was a bit off. We ended up in the wrong end of town, at Fogo Head.

The view was intimidating. A straight staircase into the sky. But dammit, the promising view from the top was too irresistible…and so we began our climb.

It was windy. Windy and steep and exhausting. Our thighs burned and our ears ached with the wind whistling between them. We passed overturned benches and broken stairs, and yet we kept climbing.

The view at the top, as you can see, was definitely worth it. I’m amazed by the colours of Central Newfoundland…the electric yellow and neon green flora is a shock to the system.

BUT we still had to conquer Brimstone Head. We couldn’t come all the way to Fogo and NOT do it, even if we had to catch our ferry in an hour.

We arrived at the base of the trail, and groaned. I don’t know why we were expecting flat trails in Newfoundland. Maybe because of the whole “Flat Earth Society” thing.

That big, bulbous lump is the Head. Photo courtesy of Janice Goudie.

Up, up, up we went! Until we passed this ominous sign.

I love that the zero is in quotation marks. Are they lying?

This trail is a bit rougher, rockier, and less trodden. We watched our step carefully. The wind was even more fierce here than at Fogo Head, but again, worth the view at the top.

We did it!

The thing is, do Flat Earthers really believe the earth is flat? Since my last trip, a few new businesses have popped up: the Museum of the Flat Earth,  and the Flat Earth Cafe and Roastery. (The latter no longer seems to be in existence, although it could have a different name. Unclear.)

The Museum of the Flat Earth is, I THINK, tongue-in-cheek. You’re invited to abandon all judgments and expectations as you enter — to question everything you know. And this tiny little spot does a good job of it. There’s 10 years of research and information represented here, including artifacts from the original Flat Earth Society of Canada.

It’s basically an art museum.

The owner, an eccentric and delightful mainlander named Kay Burns, will pointedly avoid the question: “Do you believe the Earth is flat?” Instead you’re invited to think critically about what you know, and leave your pretenses behind.

I still want my society t-shirt though.

(The museum is only open in the summer months, and Burns carries out summer programs focussing on all things flat earth. Check it out if you’re in town!)

  • September 14 2012

    Fogo was one of my top sublime experiences for sure!

    • September 17 2012

      Looooves! I think Change Islands were my fav, though.

  • September 14 2012

    It’s the second time in a week I’ve heard about this place. In university I was a member of the Flat Earth Society and have the drinking mug to prove it. You can probably guess that it was more about having a good time than anything remotely intellectual.

    • September 17 2012

      Lol! LOVE it. I need to hear more about this. You don’t strike me as a flat earther.

  • September 14 2012

    Count me in. We’ll go by inflatable zodiac. You bring beer. Lots.

  • September 15 2012

    Four corners of the world? Ha ha ha ha, what next! Got to be done just for the sake of it though. Nice pictures!

  • September 15 2012

    My duck, don’t even get me started on those Flat Earthers. I went to Fogo a couple of years ago and wrote a post about it. I asked the head of the Flat Earth Society who came up with the four corners idea (Fogo, Hydra, Bermuda Triangle, and Papua New Guinea), and it seems it wasn’t them. They say it came from the mind of a performance artist from Ontario that now lives in Twillingate. I contacted her (nice lady), and she says “there are many corners of the earth” (a very performance artist sort of thing to say.)

    I think you should go back there and get to the bottom of this. :)

    Here’s my original article in case you wanna read it (or not…)


    • September 17 2012

      Hahahaha. Not surprised, in the slightest. Still love that NL pokes fun at the whole thing.

  • September 16 2012

    I’m in. But the ‘four corners’ don’t even seem to cover the any major land-areas where the ‘flat earthers’ might be living.. sounds very made-up!

  • September 16 2012

    Wonderful, wonderful photos! What a beauty spot… I will have to go some day :) (Also, how much do I love the sense of humour of Newfoundland? The most.)

    • September 17 2012

      My fav was the ferry worker who saw the dozen Dominion beer in our trunk, and said: “Do you know what beer is the lord’s favourite? The lord have Dominion over all.”

  • September 19 2012

    I want to make it to one of the 4 corners of the earth! Maybe I’ll aim for Papua New Guinea…seems like the nearest location to me right now. ;)

  • September 12 2013

    Another great place that we were nearly blown off of! haha I liked fogo but I did not like the 3 hour wait in a line of traffic to “maybe” get on the very late ferry. patience is a virtue…..

  • August 30 2017

    Such pretty pictures and yes it is all true this is one of the corners of the flat earth!

  • April 01 2022

    We have visited Newfoundland or three occasions. In the Fall of 2010 when we toured the west and central parts, hunkering down and surviving hurricane Igor in the village of Glovertown thus did not make it to the Avalon. Returned the next spring to spend a week touring the Avalon. Then back a few years later to check out the southern parts of the island – and finally got to see a lot of icebergs. We did make it to Change and Fogo Islands and saw a corner of the flat earth. NL is a most spectacular place to visit. It’s kind of a contradiction to say it but the friendly people, the land and the rugged coasts are much the same wherever you go but every one is unique. Would love to go again as there are many gems we did not get to see.

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