Falling Off the End of the Earth

We have all encountered the common misconception that Columbus' crew was afraid of sailing off the edge of the earth, as if the explorer's view of a round world were something new.
Columbus' crew may have been fearful and unruly, but not because of any fear of an edge to the earth.  They were concerned because they were sailing south - into the "torrid zone" - where they thought the heat might evaporate the water to render the seas too shallow for their ships.  They also may have been concerned that a westward voyage to reach the Indies was impossible because they didn't have enough food and water to cover such a distance (and they were correct - they didn't have enough provisions for a voyage to Asia and would in fact have died had they not bumped into the Americas).


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In the middle of reading a super interesting book that has a take on the adventures of Columbus and a few other explorers, 1421. Perhaps they knew where they were sailing because they already had accurate world maps!
Worth a read.
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