SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Christopher Columbus, Italian navigator and explorer (1451-1506). Columbus erroneously believed Asia to be 5000 kilometres west of Europe. In 1492, after receiving support from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, he set sail to prove his theory with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. On October 12th they sighted land and, after reaching Cuba and Haiti, returned to Spain in March 1493. Over the subsequent decade Columbus made three further exploratory voyages to the New World. Taken from a portrait in the Naval Museum, Madrid, Spain.
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