Here are 25 facts about Christopher Columbus.

1-5 Christopher Columbus Facts

1. Santa María, the largest ship used by Christopher Columbus when he reached the Americas, was only 62ft (19m) long, or slightly longer than a large coach bus. – Source

2. Christopher Columbus used to make the natives over the age of 13 to bring him a specified amount of gold every three months. Those who didn’t collect enough gold in time had their hands amputated and were left to bleed to death. – Source

3. In an attempt to induce the natives of Jamaica to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, Christopher Columbus successfully intimidated the natives by correctly predicting a lunar eclipse. – Source

4. The famous Inca site of Machu Picchu was constructed less than 50 years before Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World. – Source

5. Most mermaid “sightings” were most likely manatees, dugongs, or Steller’s sea cows. In fact, Christopher Columbus spotted 3 manatees near the Dominican Republic and would later write that mermaids are “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” – Source

6-10 Christopher Columbus Facts


6. A lost report on Christopher Columbus from 1500 came to light in 2006 accusing him of tyranny, torture, mutilation and parading native women naked through the streets and selling them into slavery. Columbus was imprisoned on his return to Spain. – Source

7. A man found guilty of stealing corn was punished by Christopher Columbus by cutting his ears and nose and then selling him into slavery. – Source

8. New York’s Statue of Liberty is legally married (under Nevada’s laws) to Christopher Columbus monument in Barcelona, Spain. – Source

9. When Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean Sea, there were so many turtles in the sea that his crew was kept awake at night because of the sound of the turtles banging against the hulls of the ships. – Source

10. 23% of the crew aboard “Santa Maria”, the Christopher Columbus’s ship was named “Juan”. – Source

11-15 Christopher Columbus Facts

11. Horses went extinct in the North American continent around 8000 B.C. and only returned to the Americas when Christopher Columbus brought some over in 1493. – Source

12. There is a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus alive today, and he is a Spanish noble. – Source

13. Christopher Columbus’s efforts to obtain support for his voyages were not hampered by a European belief in a flat Earth. Sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was roughly spherical, but (correctly) disagreed with Columbus’s estimate of the distance to India. – Source

14. All portraits of Christopher Columbus are just imagination of the artists as he never actually sat for a portrait or if he did, none survived for us to actually know what he looked like. – Source

15. Helge Ingstad, a Norwegian explorer (originally a lawyer), sold his law practice and traveled to Canada, where he became the first person to prove conclusively that Vikings had found a way across the Atlantic Ocean to North America, roughly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. – Source

16-20 Christopher Columbus Facts


16. A crew sailed a replica of a Viking ship from Norway to Chicago in 1893 and coincided with a fair celebrating Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. – Source

17. Christopher Columbus returned to Spain from the new world in shackles due to his poor governance of Hispaniola. King Ferdinand, however, granted him his freedom and subsidized the fourth journey. – Source

18. More than three million people perished from war, slavery, and the mines in Hispaniola under the rule of Governor Christopher Columbus. – Source

19. When Christopher Columbus discovered chilies he mistook them for peppercorns, and that’s why we call them peppers. – Source

20. One of the hypotheses proposes that Syphilis was brought from the Americas back to the Old World by Christopher Columbus and his men in 1492 after the discovery of America. – Source

21-25 Christopher Columbus Facts


21. Christopher Columbus and his crew, on their second voyage to the New World in 1493, were the first Europeans to encounter pineapples. – Source

22. The lemon was first introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. – Source

23. Christopher Columbus once said about the natives that: “They would make fine servants….With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” – Source

24. Christopher Columbus claimed for himself the lifetime pension promised by Ferdinand and Isabella to the first person to sight land (The Americas), even though he wasn’t. – Source

25. Christopher Columbus and Hitler were both baptized after they died by Mormons. – Source

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Fact List, History,

Last Update: March 31, 2017