Superman did not spin the Earth backward.

A representation of Superman's flight.
A representation of Superman’s flight.

It is believed by most that Superman in his movie (the first one with Christopher Reeve) turned back time (to save Lois Lane) by flying at super speed around the Earth and somehow making the planet spin backward. This is an unfortunate misconception. It’s an absurd notion that makes no sense. How does a superhero cause a planet to reverse spin by flying rapidly around it? Why would reversing a planet’s spin in any way alter time? That’s crazy talk.

So what actually happened?

Superman himself went back in time. Any physicist will tell you that to go back in time, all you have to do is exceed the speed of light. Superman is so super he was able to do this.

Faster and faster Superman flew, approaching the speed of light, until he became a blur, and as he did so the Earth’s spin slowed. Einstein predicted this would happen. Did you not watch Planet of the Apes? The space travellers were moving so fast, time slowed for them, while centuries passed by on Earth.

Now Superman breaks the speed of light. The Earth appears to spin backward because Clark Kent is going back in time. You are viewing time from Clark’s perspective.

The question now becomes: Once he’d travelled into the past, why did Superman reverse direction and fly rapidly around the Earth again?

Obviously the answer is: The dim bulb who wrote the movie thought Superman was now spinning the Earth back forward. What a doofus. What sheer nonsense.

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