In 1929 there was an amazing map discovered in the Imperial Archives at Constantinople that had been sitting, virtually unexamined, for years. The map, which had been drawn in 1513 by a Turkish Admiral named Piri Reis, showed North America, South America, Greenland and Antarctica. However what is so perplexing about this map is that Antarctica had not been discovered in 1513. Antarctica was not located until 1820 and America had only been discovered in 1492, a mere 21 years prior to the maps creation and yet it is mapped quite accurately.
Remarkably, the map also depicts several land masses bearing their correct longitudes even though longitude itself was not discovered until the late 1700’s either.
Reis had been a famous Turkish Admiral of the 16th Century. He had a passion for maps, He loved cartography and was a highly experienced and respected mariner. In his day, he was considered to be an expert on all Mediterranean Lands and Coastlines and also held high in the favors of the Turkish court. Such a noble status enabled him to enjoy privileged access to the Imperial Library at Constantinople and he spent much of his spare time there. In his notes Reis said that he had based his map on several much older maps he had seen at the library, including one that Columbus is reported to have viewed prior to his voyage to the Americas. The map in question was said to have been captured from the Spaniards in a naval engagement and later given to the admiral by a Spanish prisoner who had apparently sailed on three of Columbus's New World voyages! Many scholars have indeed suspected that Columbus was in possession of a map and already knew of the existence of America before embarking on his famous ‘voyage of discovery’. Reis also wrote a well known Turkish book on sailing called ‘Kitababi Bahriye’ in which he gives detailed and accurate descriptions of the coastlines, harbors, bays, currents, shallows and straits of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. He was beheaded by the Turkish Court in 1554 or 1555 for reasons now unknown.
In case you can’t see it, That’s the top piece of Africa on the top right of the map and the tip of south America reaching out to it from the left side of the map, running up through the gulf of Mexico and up to Nth. America. The tip of Antarctica can be seen sticking up on the bottom right. Another interesting point to this map is the strange layout of the South American continent which looks sort of stretched out of shape. However, viewing the sphere of earth from space accurately produces this type of view. Funny that…