Episode #27 – Did the Chinese Beat Columbus to the New World? (Part II)

The deeper you dig into the claims made in 1421: The Year China Discovered America the weirder the story becomes. The author Gavin Menzies boldly asserts that the fleets of the Chinese Admiral Zheng He managed to circumnavigate the globe some 100 years before Europeans. But he is not content to stop there! By the end of his controversial book Menzies has the junks of Zheng He accomplishing feats of navigation that would not be repeated again until the late 19th century. But does his evidence stand up to scrutiny? Tune in and find out how paranormal maps, forged carbon dating tests, and prehistoric giant sloths all play a role in the story!pirireis-r

The Piri Reis Map

 co20tatwcaa1rofThis is the controversial detail from the Piri Reis Map. The dude on the right is Menzies’ “mylodon”.

Works Cited

Dreyer, Edward L. Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty, 1405-1433. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. Print.

Finlay, Robert. “How Not to (Re)Write World History: Gavin Menzies and the Chinese Discovery of America.” Journal of World History 15.2 (2004): 229-42. Print.

Ma, Huan, Chengjun Feng, and J. V. G. Mills. Ying-yai Sheng-lan. ‘The Overall Survey of the Ocean’s Shores’ Cambridge: Published for the Hakluyt Society at the UP, 1970. Print.

Menzies, Gavin. 1421: The Year China Discovered America. New York, NY: William Morrow, 2003. Print.

“The Myth of Menzies’ “1421 ” Exposed.” The Myth of Menzies’ “1421 ” Exposed. Web. 

Penn Museum. “Great Voyages: Zheng He.” YouTube. YouTube, 10 Oct. 2013. Web.