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30
votes
4answers
2k views

How did people travel to remote islands like Easter Island?

Easter Island is extremely remote, being thousands of kilometers from its nearest neighbor. How did people get there safely, and how did they even know it was there?
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Were Magellan's wife and kids held hostage?

I feel like I read somewhere that, in an attempt to make sure Ferdinand Magellan returned to Spain, King Charles held his wife and kids hostage (or at least kept them in the area) until he returned ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

How did Diego Gutiérrez know the boundaries (shape of the Americas) when he drew the 1562 Map of America

The map drawn by Diego GutiƩrrez in 1562 shows both North and South American shapes (borders). How did he (or the 15th century Europeans) know the shapes of the American continents and their geography ...
17
votes
1answer
285 views

Did anyone predict the existence of the Americas?

According to the answer of this question, Columbus was pretty much unique in his belief that the world was small enough and Asia was big enough to make sailing west to Asia possible. Everyone else ...
40
votes
7answers
4k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in ...
7
votes
5answers
283 views

Was Christopher Colombus Polish?

A Polish friend of mine stated that Colombus was of Polish heritage. Claims are made that he was a Polish immigrant to Italy, and that he came from a disgraced noble family in Poland. ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

In 1492, what was the shortest distance you could travel to discover the new world from the old world? [closed]

In 1492, when Christopher Columbus brought the new world to the attention of the old world. What was the extent of the known world, and what was the shortest distance someone could have travelled to ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Antarctica a continent untouched by humans until the early 19th century?

Antarctica today is covered permanently by thick layers of ice, making it extremely inhospitable to humans. And, unlike the Arctic regions, it had no indigenous population of humans when modern man ...
13
votes
1answer
243 views

Where was the furthest extent of Arabian trade explorations?

Traders from Arabia travelled to and traded with Roman and Asian empires and this Nabataean Sea Merchants article. How far did Arabian traders travel - where was the furthest extent of their ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Could Columbus have suspected the New World lay on his path to India? [closed]

According to most historical textbooks Columbus made mistakes while measuring the size of the Earth. This led him to believe, that he can travel to India westwards in a reasonable time. This is ...
10
votes
2answers
233 views

How Many Surface Ships Have Reached the North Pole?

I realize that the nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (Soviet Union) reached the north pole on August 17, 1977. However, I would like to know of any other ships that have also reached the North Pole. ...