Chinese explorer Zheng He led expeditions on the largest wooden ships ever built almost a century before Christopher Columbus set sail. Columbus' three ships carried 88 passengers total, while Zheng commanded roughly 30,000 men aboard more than 250 ships. Find out why Zheng's legacy is lost in #history: https://curiosity.com/video/columbus-de-gama-and-zheng-he-15th-century-mariners-crash-course-world-history-21-crash-course/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=091714pin
Between 1405 and 1433, Ming China sent out enormous armadas of ships into the Indian Ocean, commanded by the eunuch admiral Zheng He. The flagship and other largest treasure junks dwarfed European ships of that century; Christopher Columbus's flagship, the Santa Maria, was between 1/4 and 1/5 the size of Zheng He's. Incredibly, the largest ships in the fleet (called baoshan, or "treasure ships") were roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the displacement of modern American aircraft carriers.
The voyages of Zheng He, 1405-33. From 1405 to 1433, the Chinese Ming dynasty launched seven voyages into the Indian Ocean under the admiralship of the Muslim eunuch Zheng He. Zheng sailed as far as the east coast of Africa, returning home with such exotic gifts as ostriches and giraffes. With 'Treasure Fleets' of more than three hundred ships crewed by tens of thousands of men, his expeditions were over a hundred times larger than those of Columbus and Magellan.