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Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), Italian explorer. Based on flawed assumptions of geography, Columbus calculated that a westward route from Europe to Asia would be 3700 kilometres (as opposed to the true 19,600 kilometres). He secured the support of Queen Isabella I of Spain and in 1492 his ships arrived in the Bahamas, Hispaniola and Cuba. He had discovered the Americas, though he thought he had reached Asia. Over a further three voyages he explored the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Artwork from the tenth volume (second period of 1892) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.
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