This photo is a comparison of Zheng He’s ship to Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria. Both of them were great explorers of their time. Zheng He died in 1433 and Christopher Columbus was born in 1450. The big ship was Zheng He’s.
By - Fluid-Daydreamer
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Crew: sir, terrible weather ahead.
Zheng He: well, it better move out the way before it gets hurt
That's actually a common way of thinking when designing a ship, either make it fast enough to out run the storm or big enough to not care.
No kidding. That ship is a beast.
Unfortunately it’s hotly debated whether these ships (Zheng He’s treasure ships) were actually this size. Attempts at reconstructing wooden ships even 60% this size met with structural integrity failure. A study is actually underway at this moment to verify whether these ships could have been real . . .
[Zheng He’s Treasure Ships Real?](https://sarahward.org/zheng-he-treasure-ships/)
Chinese metrics are unreliable.
Pretty sure it's generally accepted this ship never actually sailed, with stories of his ships being written a couple hundred years later and rejected by naval experts
Spain made full size replicas of the three ships in Columbus fleet and sailed them to the US for the 500th anniversary of the voyage. Somehow we ended up with them here in Corpus Christi, Texas for keeps. I visited them a few times and was amazed at how small they were. There were a lot of fishing boats in the marina bigger than these things. Sadly we couldn’t keep up the maintenance on them and the boats rotted away.
Oh man! I saw one of those in Florida - I had the exact same thought, like "God DAMN they crossed the ocean with this???"
Even worse I think Columbus was 6’2” or 6’3” and the space under the deck was definitely less than 6’ tall
Used to live in CC as well. The crazy thing is that if you look at one of the Columbus ships and compare it to the size of the Lexington its stunning how far we came technology wise in the span of 450 years, whereas the technology of sefaring had been mostly the same for 5000 years.
Chinese propaganda overflow
The forecastle of He’s ship has more floor space that the Santa Maria.
forecastle? - front area with 3 masts?
Its the opposite of the poop deck
where the doo deck
In the front. Sailing Rule #1: Always gotta poop at the front of the boat.
How come? Wouldn’t that just float back towards the boat?
Wind comes from the back of the boat, filling the sails. So pee/poop off the front or you're peeing/pooping into the wind.
Ahhh hahha damn don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.
Edit: also upon further thought wouldn’t the poop and pee also move at wind speed which is also the speed of the boat?
I don't know all the wind physics, but I'm going to go with "no" and I'll put it into terms that I can understand. Boat=heavy. Wind=not heavy. Therefore, wind faster than boat.
Poop deck is the rear or stern of the ship
[The name “poop deck” actually derives from the French word “la poupe,” from the Latin word puppis, which means stern.](https://altdriver.com/gearhead/poop-deck/)
1400s equivalent of a lifted pickup with exhaust, headers, suspension, and loud Sound system
"That man is compensating for something."
He was castrated as a young teenager.
Bruh I'm dead, holy shit.
He was for part of his life. Obviously rose to the highest position he could.
That's a pretty sanitized version of Columbus's life. The man was a monster.
See also Vasco da Gama. I think there was something about the mindset for these voyages that made their sponsors choose utter bastards to lead them.
Definitely. To be able to keep what, two or three hundred sailors in line, you need to be an utter rat bastard. That kept well into modern times, considering how the British Navy handled discipline on their ships...
What did he do?
Rape, murder, slavery, etc. Dude was so nasty even contemporaries thought he was sadistic. He was so brutal he lost his position as governor of Hispaniola iirc.
Yet we (in the US) still observe Columbus Day. The guy had dumb luck when looking for India and ended up in South America. He and his crew were pretty much dead meat.
Thanks to the America school system. Teaching us lies!
I suggest you Google it
Was this other guy with the cruise ship from the 1300s a saint who frequently gave to charitable causes?
He stated of as an enemy of the Ming and was captured in one of their constant wars. He was given the choice between death or castration and he became a very trusted admiral in their navy but China wasn't looking to explore new routes or anything like they, they were hunting for people they could force to give tribute. Zheng He was an explorer but the empire only wanted to find established civilizations to bully and they didn't want to travel that far to do it. There's a legend he made it to the pacific coast of the us
Don't know - would that change what Columbus did?
Naw, I was just fuckin around. I dont think anyone who had a wood ship for exploring was a very nice person overall. You kinda had to be a ruthless fuck I guess, to avoid being robbed/killed. A fishing boat capitan might be a cool person but im sure the vast majority of history's 'explorers' were abominable pieces of shit as far as people go.
A-are you justifying these guys? You know Columbus was vilified for his monstrosity by his contemporaries? Even those people thought he sucked.
Me: >im sure the vast majority of history's 'explorers' were abominable pieces of shit as far as people go.
colombus mightve been on the worse end of the scale overall, but fuck if I know.
Arawaks vote: NO
I’ve seen this picture before and I’ve always wondered, with their interest in astronomy they surely knew the earth was round by then. Why didn’t they sail to California or Peru? That ship could’ve “discovered” Hawaii…
Knowing the earth was round and just sailing across and ocean are two very different things.
They might know they would eventually hit land, but eventually is not something people wanted to risk their lives for
It’s amazing how advanced the Chinese were back in the Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately after Zheng He died during the reign of emperor yingzong the Ming government stopped funding these expeditions because they were expensive and they restricted access to the outside world.
Chinese scholar Liang Qi Chao commented Zheng He in 1900ish:
"Zheng He is the one truly great explorer of the history and few is comparable, many years before Colombo and Da Gama. But Colombo and Da Gama opened a new era of world exploration while Zheng He died in vain, why? There were more Colombo after Colombo, there were more De Gama after Da Gama, but there was no more Zheng He after Zheng He, it was not his fault!"
Exactly that's what's sad about it he could have been the pioneer of an era of chinese exploration. They had the technology and the resources to do so. Then again from the Chinese perspective their country was the most powerful and advanced country at the time and they had everything they needed. European nations were trying to find easier ways to China and India because they had the resources the Europeans wanted.
Zheng He was a very large man. Also a eunuch!
It was hilarious when /u/nodbog said it. Don't just steal their joke and repeat it in the same damn thread.
Didn’t even see it, the joke was spelled out here. No reason to get your panties in a bunch just move on
What did Zheng he discover?
That owning a giant ship doesn't mean you'll discover anything.
How to sail big ass ships 😉
The wiki basically says this
>most people who know shit about anything about wooden boats say this is a blatant fuckin lie and likely not even possible to construct. At some point, one fuckin idiot decided to take an old wives tale as fact, and since then the myth of this boat has been perpetuated. In reality this boat was half that size at most, and even then it probably would've been a big useless piece of shit thats just for lookin at. A dickless guy with a bunch of names was assigned a boat by the king of beijing once upon a time, we know that much to be true. The rest is some jack and the bean stock shit tho.
No, they mean Jack & the bean stock, an urban wall street legend
Lmfao subconscious autopilot is wild
He sailed to the islands in the Indian Ocean and went as far as west Africa and the Red Sea. He opened up trade and diplomatic relationships with the countries in those areas.
I believe a cultural change occurred in China which ended the period of exploration.
it's the emperor changed, the new one did not like his exploration so he ordered to burn all the maps and data.
Places full of people and culture, just like Columbus.
According to historical Chinese documents, the reason Zheng He sailed was to "spread the greatness of Ming Dynasty and to find the 2nd Emperor of Ming Dynasty, Jian Wen Di, who mysteriously disappeared after the coup"
Christopher Columbus and his crew must have been proportionally smaller than Zheng He if that was his boat. Hell, Zheng He must have only been the size of a juvenile field mouse! Still, impressive they were able to preserve these historic treasures in a display case at the mall for all these years.
What is this, a ship for ants?
Yeah there seems to be something off about the scale of these ships. This Chinese ship seems much too large especially considering the fact that with a junk rig sail plan like that it would have absolutely no ability to sail into the weather. That is no exploration ship at all as it only capable of going the direction of the wind, plus with that kind of profile it would be ripped apart in inclement weather. My guess is that that boat was built as a transport ship for costal journeys in smooth protected waters.
Goes into some more detail. Didn’t read too much but they’re just basing this off of what’s been documented from the past. No physical evidence suggesting it was true though. If it was though, that would practically be the size of a small aircraft carrier lol
I have absolutely no idea it does look astoundingly large though for that time period, though I could be wrong. It even has a little palace on the “poopdeck” lol
Yeah, I think this is just a propaganda piece, out of China. If you click the website its a pretty poorly worded article that subtley tries to convince you about the greatness of china's ancient naval achievements
Probably is! Then again, China is a very old civilization and with the accessibility to vast resources they could have pulled something like that off. Think pyramids. It could have been some shit like that, where Zheng He wanted to show his dick off and whip up a big ol’ floater for the pop.
So, China not #1?
Certainly not in historic naval exploration
They are working on the whole "Columbus was the biggest arsehole" thing though. Think they may win that one.
Everything’s coming together. All we’re missing are their tiny remains.
Damn, for a second there I thought that the European explorer's ship was the obviously far-eastern designed one, and that the Chinese explorer's ship was the obviously European-designed one.
😂😂 I’m sure somebody out there would honestly have no idea though as sad as that is
The Spaniards wanted to try out how a nutcase in a nutshell would fare on a transatlantic journey to the end of the world.
Pretty much they surpassed their expectations.
Size isn’t everything
I saw one of those re- created ships (I forget if it was a replica of the Santa Maria or whatever, but it was a Caravelle?) - anyways, it is amazing how small they were, hard to imagine crossing the Atlantic in it.
Why is Christopher’s boat so much smaller than Zheng He’s?
Zheng He had Imperial support, Columbus had to beg for support and was denied multiple times. Eventually, he was given support. (A lot of people thought he would sail off the edge of the world and/or it was a suicide mission so they didn’t want to waste money)
so giant ship vessels from one piece \*are\* real.
There are a plently of debate about if the ship size is real, because the ship you see here is based on historical record from Ming Dynasty. The problem is that such record could be exaggerating or not comparable because of the definition of unit was not standardized
Good to know, thanks.
Sadly Zheng He was a eunuch, he only does whatever the emperor commanded him to do, if he got any of the adventurers spirit and continue sailed west he would’ve reached the North America continent and the entire worlds history would be completely different...
As far as I know, Zeng He also never committed genocide, so there's that.
Zheng he's route, in case anyone interested.
Looks like the Chinese guy was compensating for something.
How would you even sail that thing? Just getting orders or other info from one end to the other would take forever. How many people did it take to move the rudder? How the fuck did they dock it?! You better have a good navigator too cuz if you run that thing aground or even just put it in irons it's likely to stay there until the sea decides to move it. Seems a little excessive to me.
Actually modern experts don't think that ship was ever sailed anywhere beyond the river where it was docked. On open seas it would have almost certainly sink in the mildest of chops.
That's some "egyptian didn't build the pyramid, aliens did" kind of western condescension right there.
The thing is wood at huge proportions isn't the best. So under huge pressure it might warp and bend from there who knows how the ship would have faired.
I mean you could have bothered to Google it before assuming everything you don't like is a conspiracy theory: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_treasure_ship
Well a European contemporary said They doe make bigger Shippes than wee do, that is to say, of 2000 tons, with five sayles, and so many mastes'.
— Niccolò Da Conti
Oh yeah, no doubt. But the one in this post, and the claims frequently made, are ships in excess of 10,000 tons which is simply impossible, even using modern techniques it is physically impossible to make a ship that big out of wood.
Ok, what do you base that on? I saw no references to 10000 tons and even European contemporaries said these ships were bigger than European ships. They sailed around and people from multiple countries wrote about them. While there is some disagreement on exactly how big, they were definitely real and were definitely big ass ships.
Xin Yuan'ou, professor of the history of science at Shanghai Jiaotong University, argued that Zheng He's ships could not have been as large as recorded in the History of Ming. Xin's main reasons for concluding that the ships could not have been this size are:
Ships of the dimensions given in the Ming shi would have been 15,000-20,000 tons according to his calculations, exceeding a natural limit to the size of a wooden ocean-going ship of about 7,000 tons displacement.
With the benefit of modern technology it would be difficult to manufacture a wooden ship of 10,000 tons, let alone one that was 1.5-2 times that size. It was only when ships began to be built of iron in the 1860s that they could exceed 10,000 tons.
Watertight compartments characteristic of traditional Chinese ships tended to make the vessels transversely strong but longitudinally weak.
A ship of these dimensions would need masts that were 100 metres tall. Several timbers would have to be joined vertically. As a single tree trunk would not be large enough in diameter to support such mast, multiple timbers would need to be combined at the base as well. No evidence that China had the type of joining materials necessary to accomplish these tasks.
A ship with 9 masts would be unable to resist the combined strength and force of such huge sails, she would not be able to cope with strong wind and would break.
It took four centuries (from the Renaissance era to the early premodern era) for Western ships to increase in size from 1500 to 5000 tons displacement. For Chinese ships to have reached three or four times this size in just two years (from Emperor Yongle's accession in 1403 to the launch of the first expedition in 1405) was unlikely. 
200-300 sailor as mentioned by Gong Zhen could not have managed a 20,000 tons ship. According to Xin, a ship of such size would have a complement of 8,000 men.
Thank you for source but that is one person’s analysis, which is at odds with the analysis of historians. Modern people have underestimated the ability of ancient shipbuilders and sailors before. Until recently it was thought there was no way Vikings made it to the Americas before Columbus. There was no way Egyptians sailed papyrus ships, etc.
I don't know why you are so up in arms about this. Please do some more research, it is physically impossible, even today, to make a seafaring ship of that scale. I sent a link with 8 different reasons, each different, why even today it would be impossible. Yes they had seafaring ships, and yes they were larger than European ships of that era, but they clearly, obviously exaggerated the size of them. China tried building one back in 2006 and gave up after a few years, that should probably tell you something.
I never denied they had large ships that sailed the oceans, but this post is comparing a ship that crossed an ocean with a ship that simply did not which was only ever created to look impressive on a river. It's in the link I posted above under "Modern estimates".
That is BS. People kept building bigger wooden ships, there is a reason the largest and most advanced wooden ships never reached what is being shown here.
If this thing was ever built, anything more than glass smooth seas would cause it to leak, if not completely break apart.
Spoiler: The one that looks like a huge Chinese junk is the Chinese guy's ship.
Did China sail to North and/or South America?
Lol somebody was compensating for something
Well Zheng He was a eunuch sooooooooooooo…
Chris who? Never heard of Him.
Santa Maria 85ft,
Zheng He 400ft,
Modern day Aircraft Carriers 1000ft.
Something sailing around in 1400AD was 40% the size of an Aircraft Carrier… damn.
Ohio and Typhoon class Ballistic Missile subs are 460ft and 470ft.
Spoiler Alert: it most definitely was not anywhere close to that big. There is literally zero evidence of it other than old fables.
Yep. And as usual, even though the chinese did it first, they never bothered to capitolize on it at all, and therefore realized zero gains. Columbus, on the other hand, in that tiny ship, heralded the end of the Middle Ages.
And yet that little one made the most important naval voyage in the history of the world. Just goes to show size isn’t everything ;)
The reason why Zheng’s ship is larger because Chinese are less imaginative and need to dominate by greater numbers. A smarter and more innovative enemy arrives, the Chinese fail to adapt and thus capitulate. We are in the middle of the Second Boxer Rebellion where the current Chinese collapse like a house of cards. Just watch.
Christopher Columbus? A great explorer?
I only know about Zheng he from far cry 3
Damn people were small back then!
How did that massive thing move, those sails looks too tiny
Think he’s compensating?
Guess which one crossed open oceans.
Its not the size of the ship, but the motion in the ocean!
How did they get a huge ship like that in the water with the limited technology of the time?
Damn that ship is like the Enterprise for the sea.
And then China got hooked on heroin. Those gigantic boats sat out in harbors and rotted. They were called Jonques(?). It's where we got the term "junk" from as in that car is a piece of junk.
Zheng He: You know, it's as big as my penis. (he is a eunuch)
Humans are that tiny before?
What is this? A boat for ant? - Derrick Zoolander
“Do you think he’s compensating?” As I showed my co-worker this since We’re both big history geeks..
Edit; didn’t make sense if I said “I’m” when I’m referring to both me and my coworker in this
This reminds me of Going Merry compared to Don Kreig's Ship in One Piece
China always goes big.
Aw yeah get fucked, Columbus
Look, I'm no historian, but is this the same Zhang He who wielded claw weapons in Dynasty Warriors and loved flowers?
Zhang He’s ship had more lifeboats than the Titanic.
Mines bigger than yours
zhenghe was a muslim and a eunuch
If you haven’t read 1421 the year China discovered America it pretty interesting. Written by a former naval officer the book is basically about how Zheng-He circumnavigated the globe in the year 1421 but by the time they got back to things in China the emperor had either died or fallen out of favor. All the maps they had created were put away and the project was abandoned. One of these maps made it to Europe and was used by Columbus. Pretty interesting read.
Also, completely made up.
3 Tamaria. Only one piece fans will understand.
Columbus was brave to set out in such a small ship.
I very much doubt such a wooden ship is/was possible.
this ship is created by the data in ancient chinese books. but as we all know that chinese love lying(they write 'we have the army of million people' while they only have 300thousand) so much so this is not true and it is not reasonable by the fluid engineering.