The history of world exploration

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    The history of world exploration

    The idea for this thread came up in the Discord chat with Wayfaring Stranger.

    It is quite an interesting subject I think; how was the history (or his-story) of world exploration actually happening?

    We have:
    1 – the mainstream story (Columbus, Vespucci, Tasman, Cook, Da Gama, Magelhão, the Vikings first in NE Canada)
    2 – alternative known stories (Erich von Däniken, Thor Heyerdahl as famous ones)
    3 – many different maps that are attributed to people and ages that may or may not be real ones

    About 3, some examples:

    The Piri Reis map

    Official story
    – allegedly from 1513
    – allegedly made by the Ottomans (Piri Reis)
    – conveniently just “discovered” on 9 October 1929 by German theologian Gustav Adolf Deissmann (1866–1937)
    – attributed to Piri Reis by Paul E. Kahle, of whom is said:
    “After his wife helped a Jewish neighbor whose shop was ransacked during the Kristallnacht of 1938, the family was persecuted by the Nazis.”

    – as the Kristallnacht was a staged event, it becomes all very questionable
    – the map, especially the animals and ships on it, are extremely well drawn, too good to be true and not resembling other early 16th century animal depictions
    – looks like manufactured in the 1920s and easily attributed to some dead guy who conveniently cannot speak

    Kunyu Quantu

    Official story
    – allegedly made in 1674
    – by a “Flemish” (jewish more likely, speaking Hebrew) Jesuit who lived in China, Ferdinand Verbiest
    – “The making of Verbiest’s Kunyu Quantu was intended to meet the interest of the Kangxi Emperor, as Verbiest’s introductory dedication implies. There currently are at least fourteen or fifteen copies and editions of this map known in Europe, Japan, Taiwan, America, and Australia.”

    – the map also shows animals in “Antarctica”, that was of course unknown at the time; a unicorn (??), a “tiger”, a rhino, crocodile, a tree with some animal underneath
    – the map shows Australia remarkably well, and especially the full west coast, all down to Perth, and the southern coastline (Melbourne, Adelaide, etc.), but according to the mainstream his-story, that whole area was not known in 1674… Abel Tasmans travels didn’t go there:

    – this Verbiest character was actually born on October 9, the same day Deissmann “discovered” the Piri Reis map, what a coincidence! Is October 9 official “Fake Map Day”?
    – Abel Tasman actually died on October 10?! What a nice funny coincidence?

    Kunyu Wanguo Quantu

    Official story
    – “Unattributed, very detailed, two page colored edition (1604?), copy of the 1602 map Kunyu Wanguo Quantu by Matteo Ricci at the request of the Wanli Emperor. This digitalization of the map is of a Japanese export copy of the original Chinese version, with phonetic annotations in Katakana for foreign place names outside of the Sinic world, predominantly around Europe, Russia and the Near East.”
    – “Matteo Ricci became the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing in 1601 when invited by the Wanli Emperor, who sought his selected services in matters such as court astronomy and calendrical science. He converted several prominent Chinese officials to Catholicism, such as his colleague Xu Guangqi…”
    – “In 1583, Ricci and Ruggieri settled in Zhaoqing, at the invitation of the governor of Zhaoqing, Wang Pan, who had heard of Ricci’s skill as a mathematician and cartographer. Ricci stayed in Zhaoqing from 1583 to 1589, when he was expelled by a new viceroy. It was in Zhaoqing, in 1584, that Ricci composed the first European-style world map in Chinese, called “Da Ying Quan Tu” (Chinese: “Complete Map of the Great World”). No prints of the 1584 map are known to exist, but, of the much improved and expanded Kunyu Wanguo Quantu of 1602, six recopied, rice-paper versions survive.”

    – what is remarkable is that the origin country of this Mateo Ricci (“Rich”? like the jewish -not so strangely chosen- family name?), Italy, is actually very poorly drawn, just like the well known Greek islands, the British isles and also the Philippines, across the sea from Macau, are just some blobs on the map
    – Antarctica is just completely invented with square shapes, islands, etc.

    Contarini–Rosselli map–Primary/Central%20Asia/Central%20Asia–After%201900/1922%20Contarini%20Roselli%20map%20of%201506.jpg

    Official story
    – map from 1506
    – allegedly the first surviving map of the New World
    – “The Contarini–Rosselli map was designed by Giovanni Matteo Contarini and engraved by Francesco Rosselli. It is a copper-engraved map and was published in Venice or Florence in 1506. The only surviving copy is in the British Library.”
    – “Although there had been maps created after these voyages, such as Juan de la Cosa’s map of the world in 1500 (based on Columbus’ second voyage) and the Cantino world map (circa 1502), the information on these maps was closely guarded. These maps were commissioned by the Portuguese and Spanish governments, which wanted to create trade monopolies over the regions they depicted. The royal powers worried that leaked information about geography could make it easier for other nations to challenge their supremacy. Often a limited number of copies was made, to be held under lock and key.”

    – there is only 1 (??) surviving copy of the first map of the New World? Like all the other ones were just not interesting enough to keep? Sounds like taping over Miami Vice episodes over the Apollo tapes…
    – Oh, because it was so protected “under lock and key”? So that the burglars couldn’t find it and ran off with it? Like it is accurate (enough) to serve for sailing the world? Come on!?
    – extremely short wiki article, no picture of the actual map in this one, little referenced

    Map of Juan de la Cosa

    Official story
    – allegedly produced by Juan de la Cosa in 1500
    – “Its rich decoration hints that it was ordered by some powerful member of the court of the Catholic Monarchs,[1] who ruled the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon at that time.”
    – “This map is the earliest undisputed representation of the Americas.”

    – “Juan de la Cosa” literally means “John of the Thing”. WHO TF is called that??
    – If this is the earliest New World map (1500), that contradicts the last one that was claimed the earliest (1506)…
    – there are some islands in the Indian Ocean that do not exist
    – Look at the drawings of the castles and the ships, they are ok, but not perfect. Compare that to the Piri Reis map, allegedly published just 13 years after this one

    Cantino planisphere

    Official story
    – “The Cantino planisphere or Cantino world map is the earliest surviving map showing Portuguese geographic discoveries in the east and west. It is named after Alberto Cantino, an agent for the Duke of Ferrara, who successfully smuggled it from Portugal to Italy in 1502. The map is particularly notable for portraying a fragmentary record of the Brazilian coast, which the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral explored in 1500, and for depicting the African coast of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans with a remarkable accuracy and detail. It was valuable at the beginning of the sixteenth century because it showed detailed and up-to-date strategic information in a time when geographic knowledge of the world was growing at a fast pace.”
    – “This old map, made-up by 6 glued parchment sheets, was kept in the Ducal Library, Ferrara, for about 90 years, until Pope Clement VIII transferred it to another palace in Modena, Italy. More than two centuries later, in 1859, the palace was ransacked and the Cantino Map lost. It was found by Giuseppe Boni, Director of the Biblioteca Estense, in that same year, in a butcher’s store in Modena. The Cantino world map can currently be found in Modena, Italy, at the Biblioteca Estense.”
    – “Illustrations are few, but elaborate. Two cities are grandly depicted – Venice and Jerusalem.”

    – a “planisphere” as a name for a map, hmm, ok.
    – again a map contradicting the other one; this from 1500, 1501 or 1502, so before 1506…
    – Europe and Africa are very accurately drawn, but the Red Sea is a joke, just like Asia. South America and Caribbean pretty well done
    – a mysterious island (owned by the Portuguese King or so is what the text says?) in the middle of the Atlantic (“Atlantis”?)
    – NO Antarctica

    Novus Planiglobii Terrestris per Utrumque Polum Conspectus. Prostant Amstelaedami Penes Gerardum Valck Calcographum

    Official story
    – allegedly from 1695
    – “Copper engraving, hand colored in outline and wash. Gerard Valk acquired this plate from the former Dutch publisher house Blaeu. The plate was probably prepared in the last years of Joan Blaeu’s life, in 1672-73. ‘The projection used – two north and south polar views, each extending to the equator – is not a common one and it has been suggested that Blaeu intended this special map for the Spanish edition of the Atlas Major which was never completed.’ Shirley. – Further Valk made no changes to the map itself and also the amorial shield above the imprint remains blank.”
    – you can buy a copy for 6500 euros…

    – this actually is a much better map, which makes sense considering the time it was allegedly produced
    – very different from the Verbiest Kunyu Quantu from 1674
    – there is NO year on the map itself, which is strange; that was common to do on books, maps, etc.
    – there is NO Antarctica?!

    Vinland map

    Official story
    – The Vinland map is claimed to be a 15th-century mappa mundi with unique information about Norse exploration of North America. It is very well known because of the publicity campaign which accompanied its revelation to the public as a “genuine” pre-Columbian map in 1965. In addition to showing Africa, Asia and Europe, the map depicts a landmass south-west of Greenland in the Atlantic labelled as Vinland (Vinlanda Insula).
    – The map describes this region as having been visited by Europeans in the 11th century. Although it was presented to the world in 1965 with an accompanying scholarly book written by British Museum and Yale University librarians, historians of geography and medieval document specialists began to suspect that it might be a fake as soon as photographs of it became available, and chemical analyses have identified one of the major ink ingredients as a 20th-century artificial pigment. Individual pieces of evidence continue to be challenged, most recently at a 2009 conference.”
    – “The Vinland map first came to light in 1957 (three years before the discovery of the Norse site at L’Anse aux Meadows in 1960), bound in a slim volume with a short medieval text called the Hystoria Tartarorum (usually called in English The Tartar Relation), and was unsuccessfully offered to the British Museum by London book dealer Irving Davis on behalf of a Spanish-Italian dealer named Enzo Ferrajoli de Ry.”
    – “Yale contacted another alumnus, Paul Mellon [think BNY Mellon, investment bank], who agreed to buy it (for a price later stated to be about $300,000) and donate it to the university if it could be authenticated. Recognizing its potential importance as the earliest map unambiguously showing America, Mellon insisted that its existence be kept secret until a scholarly book had been written about it.”

    – this map is a “known” forgery. If they can do (admit) that with this map, why would we believe the other maps were what they are, from the alleged year they say, without questioning? I am not saying they are (all) fake, but it apparently is not too hard to fake a map and make it a historical one…
    – Which Spanish-Italian is called “Enzo Ferrajoli de Ry”? Only the first name is Italian, the rest just looks like completely made up, like a “terror” vicsim.
    – ah, why not? You are going to pay 300,000 USD for something not even known to be real to “donate” it to a museum? Makes fecking sense!


    It’s not a thread about the shape of the Earth; flat, spherical, donut or moebius, but about the maps, the history of exploration and what stories we can expose as false as they contradict themselves or other ones.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by gaia.

    "A truth seeker is someone who dares to wade through thick series of toxic smoke screens and tries not to inhale" - Gaia (2017)

    "What do you call 'genius'?" "Well, seeing things others don't see. Or rather the invisible links between things." - Vladimir Nabokov (1938)


    And of course some people take those maps at face value and twist it into a “mysterical” conspiracy theory:

    Anomalous Antarctica Maps

    Did ancient explorers sail the coast of an ice-free Antarctica? Did they possess mapping tools that we don’t know about? The human race is a species with amnesia and this appears to be another chapter in our history lost to the ages and ignored for convenience.

    "A truth seeker is someone who dares to wade through thick series of toxic smoke screens and tries not to inhale" - Gaia (2017)

    "What do you call 'genius'?" "Well, seeing things others don't see. Or rather the invisible links between things." - Vladimir Nabokov (1938)


    How to fake an island for 100 years+

    “Frisland” is one of the longest standing “phantom islands” that existed in the history of world mapping. It was introduced on an admitted faked map produced by Niccolò Zeno (the younger) in 1558 and presented as if it was mapped and explored by his ancestor, another Niccolò Zeno (the elder) in the 1380s.

    “Frisland” was simply copy-pasted by many cartographers, including the famous Mercator, here in 1623:

    Read more about this story here:

    How To Put A Fake Island On A Map

    "A truth seeker is someone who dares to wade through thick series of toxic smoke screens and tries not to inhale" - Gaia (2017)

    "What do you call 'genius'?" "Well, seeing things others don't see. Or rather the invisible links between things." - Vladimir Nabokov (1938)


    I have summarized quite a number of maps and linked a couple of recorded audiochats about them at Fakeopedia.

    Let’s keep exploring!

    "A truth seeker is someone who dares to wade through thick series of toxic smoke screens and tries not to inhale" - Gaia (2017)

    "What do you call 'genius'?" "Well, seeing things others don't see. Or rather the invisible links between things." - Vladimir Nabokov (1938)

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