Back in the day, we were taught that Christopher Columbus was a brave explorer who sailed around the world to prove that it was round and bumped into America in the process. Over the past few decades, revisionist historians have brought new insight to this conversation — like the fact that Leif Erikson was a half-millennium ahead in the whole finding North America game, and that Columbus never set foot on the mainland of what would become the United States. Somehow, the Italian explorer hasn’t had his day revoked (yet) though many communities are starting to rethink their celebrations, with states like South Dakota and Hawaii leading the charge.
Columbus was a skilled sailor with an intention to establish a new trade routes to India. When that plan went sideways, he took to extreme measures to save face — measures which look pretty ugly in retrospect. He was also a “European explorer” which, by it’s very nature, implies a certain d*ckishness, lack of regard for Native cultures, and piggish behavior.
As a result, it wasn’t a insurmountable challenge to find seven d*ck moves by Christopher Columbus — and we didn’t even count the fact that he inspired the movie 1492: Conquest of Paradise:
He Lied To His Bosses To Save Embarrassment
It’s been long established that no one in the 15th century believed the Earth was flat. Columbus, however, believed he could reach Asia by sailing west, which would result in a new trade route. Instead, he landed in the Caribbean islands, populated an indigenous population with little to offer in the way of goods or gold. He sailed back to Spain and proclaimed the world to be pear-shaped, blaming that on why he never managed to find passage to Asia.
He Wormed His Way Out Of Giving Promised Rewards To His Crew
During his first voyage in 1492, he had promised a reward of 10,000 maravedis (roughly a sailor’s yearly income at the time) to whomever in his crew first spotted land. Sailor Rodrigo de Triana had been the first to do so, though afterwards Columbus refused to pay him, keeping the reward for himself and claiming he’d seen a “glow” the night before.
He Lied To His Crew. A Lot.
While Columbus had grossly underestimated the circumference of the Earth, he wasn’t sure as to how long the voyage would take. So, according to excerpts from his journal, he consistently would under-report their progress. For example, days where they would sail 50 leagues, he’d tell the crew 47, so that his crew wouldn’t be dismayed by the long voyage.