That 1421 World Map

There apparently has been some debate over who exactly discovered America that I have missed.  In his book 1421: The Year China Discovered America, Gavin McKenzies cites evidence that the Chinese discovered America long before Columbus.  Recently, a new map has surfaced lending support to his claim.  There’s even an official 1421 web page.

Now, I’m no scholar or historian, but I’ve got some problems just looking at it. when Columbus discovered “America”, he actually landed on one of the Caribbean islands, was disappointed with what he found, and went home.  When the Vikings discovered America, some stayed, most left.  The ones that stayed died.  Although Columbus documented his discoveries, little was known about the new land for hundreds of years.  Now, look at that map again.  The problem that immediately strikes me is not only do they have the entire coastline mapped, they’ve got major rivers and mountain ranges.  Even if out of proportion and sometimes in the wrong places, they go WELL into the continental Americas.  Now, when Columbus landed in the Dominican Republic, he didn’t map too much.  He made a couple of trips back, never found what he was looking for, thought he was in the wrong place, and gave up.  When the Vikings landed, they apparently didn’t map at all.  What evidence that does exist of their being here is very sketchy and doesn’t look like they ventured far from shore.  However, we’re supposed to believe that the Chinese, BY 1418, had explored and mapped THE ENTIRE AMERICAS?  The Europeans, while living here, took about 300 years to get that done.  Now, if that isn’t bad enough, the Chinese apparently ventured to the arctic poles as well according to that map.  Hell, they even mapped it.  This all supposedly happened in boats like this:

Now, that’s an impressive ship, but documentation only shows them traveling as far as Africa.  I can assure you these boats did not have very good heating and air conditioning, and that would have been kind of a necessary thing when traveling the Arctic poles.

Call me a critic for sure.  However, you don’t have to trust me exclusively, there’s a LOT of criticism out there.