There are several beliefs in regard to who discovered America first. Most people are aware of the journeys of Christopher Columbus and how he was the first sailor to make the round trip voyage around the Atlantic. However, despite his nautical achievements, was he the first?
Who discovered America?
The most commonly known and believed story is that of Christopher Columbus – an Italian navigator and explorer who landed on the shores of ‘The New World’ in 1492. His discovery is significant as it opened up America to colonization at the hands of European powers.
History of America
However, the history of America is not as simple as that. Research has shown that Columbus was one of the last explorers to “discover” America. Almost 500 years before him, a group of Vikings, led by Leif Eriksson, landed on the shores of what is now known as Newfoundland, Canada. They did not stay for long as their relationship with Native North Americans grew hostile.
Who was the first to discover America?
A fact we often forget when investigating the mystery of who discovered America first is, that when all these different explorers came to America, there were already people there! The first settlers to come to America were in fact, immigrants. Studies suggest that Native Americans, as we know them, have genetic markers connecting them to Asian roots. During the last Ice Age, research shows that there existed a land bridge where there is now the Berring Strait – connecting Asia to North America.
There have also been claims in the past that explorers from Asia and Ireland landed on the shores of America before Columbus and Vespucci. However, these claims are still under exploration.