10 Interesting Facts About Christopher Columbus You Weren't Taught In Class

Added by Johanna on Mar 16, 2019

Columbus was very religious

Columbus was in fact an extremely religious man who earnestly believed that he has been chosen by God to embark on voyages to discover new land. A number of names he allocated to islands as well as the lands that he discovered were of a religious nature. In the later phase of his life, he adopted a simple Franciscan habit wherever he went, appearing very much like a monk rather than the affluent admiral that he used to be. While on his third voyage, there was a time when he viewed the Orinoco River draining into the Atlantic Ocean near the northern part of South America. At the time he was almost certain that he had discovered the Garden of Eden.


Columbus drastically miscalculated the circumference of the Earth

A common misconception is that during Columbus' time it was believed that the Eath was flat. This is in fact not true - European scholars simply believed that the oceans were to vast for any ship to cross. The theory at the time, formed by Ptolemy, was that Eurasia and Africa, which were the known lands at the time, were all situated on one side of the planet, and that there was nothing further to explore.

Columbus disagreed and set about to calculate the circumference of the Earth in order to prove that there were, in fact, more land masses to discover. His estimates were wildly off, assessing that the Earth was around 25,255 kilometers in circumference, whereas the real number is almost double at 40,000 kilometers. Due to this miscalculation Columbus ironically discovered what he believed to be a new route to Asia.

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