was a Genoese navigator and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean,
funded by Queen Isabella of Spain, led to the discovery
of the American continents by Europe.
underestimated the circumference of the Earth.
He thought that a westward route from Iberia to the Indies would be
shorter and more direct than the overland trade route through Arabia.
This would allow Spain entry into the lucrative spice trade at that time
commanded by the Arabs and Italians.
Following his plotted
course, he instead landed in 1492 in the Bahamas
Archipelago. Mistaking the North-American island for the East-Asian
mainland, he referred to its inhabitants as "Indios".