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There was the following passage in Time magazine’s article (October 8, 2015 issue) under the title of “The great migration of 2015”:

“Airports are not scary. They are purposely bland, simple to navigate, reassuringly similar. What’s scary is the uncertainty embedded in any journey, a vague foreboding that informed the theory of a flat earth, which merely assumed the horizon was exactly what it appears to be: a precipice. Beyond lay a void like the one at the pit of the stomach when you find yourself in a place where you know none, darkness is gathering and nothing is like back home.”

I cannot make out the meaning of the line “Beyond lay a void like the one at the pit of the stomach. I know the pit of the stomach is the solar plexus, but what does “Beyond lay a void,” and the following line signify?

If it means "Beyond the precipice at the end of horizon, a void lies like the one at the pit of stomach," what does "one" represent for?

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  • Beyond the precipice is a void -- an empty area or bottomless pit. The void reminds one of the queasy feeling one gets when lost in the dark.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 9, 2015 at 23:07

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What the writer is saying here is that there was once a foreboding which stated that the Earth is flat and if someone crosses the horizon there is a completely empty space(void). So a person fears that they may "fall" into this void if they cross the horizon.

Subsequently the writer compares this huge empty space(void) with the pit of the stomach,the ​part of the ​body in which ​people say they ​feel ​fear or ​nervousness.

The void in this context is basically referring to fear. The fear of uncertainty that a person encounters in a journey, especially a journey that he is not familiar with.

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It seems they are just using the past tense of lie.

So when people looked at the horizon in the old days, they expected an empty space (a void) on the other side (beyond). An empty hole like one feels in the bottom of one's stomach when dreading something new.

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