The long-term history of what we now call “America” is murky at best. Native American populations have, no doubt, been around for at least thousands upon thousands of years, but in light of recent science, popular theories about their origins have become even sketchier and less well-defined than they were.

In terms of a more modern “discovery” of America by foreign seafaring folk, most of us still think of Columbus, or maybe Vikings as the only civilizations that made ocean-crossing voyages to our continent. But, there’s a pretty compelling pile of anecdotal evidence suggesting Chinese explorer Zheng He may have reached America over 70 years before Columbus, as well as circumnavigate the globe a century before Magellan.

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