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Piri Reis Map (wikipedia.org)
61 points by albertzeyer on July 18, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

Columbus, when he sailed West, used as reference a number of maps sourced from the Chinese empire (among others)... In particular, he might have used the 1492 Martin Behaim globe as his primary reference. [0]

The Martin Behaim globe shows Cipangu, which is actually the Japanese island of Kyushu as depicted by the Chinese. It also show part of Indonesia. Worth noting is that when Columbus sailed West, he was not looking for "the Indies", but for Cipangu, described by Marco Polo as "the land of gold". [1]

So it seems that Piri Reis compiled recent south-american data together with older asia-pacific data. The so-called "antartica" part of the Piri reis map appears to match Java as shown on world maps of the same period. Mystery solved, I guess... (check for yourself by comparing the Piri Reis map and the Martin Behaim globe). This is supported by the fact that the Piri Reis map also seems to show Cipangu off North America, and describes the "antartica" land at the bottom as a warm land.

Anyway, the outlandish claims of the article about the extraordinary accuracy of the map are complete BS. Check it yourself. [2]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Japan#mediaviewer/Fil...

[1] http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2008/07/27/to-be-sorted/cip...

[2] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Piri_rei...

The coast of Brazil is surprisingly accurate in this map. I can spot a number of geographic features (Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Ilha de Marajó) and some rivers.

Compare to this 1502 map: http://www.historia-brasil.com/mapas/brasil-cantino.htm

The rest, I cannot make sense of it.

In BBC's Museum Mysteries docus, in the Topkapı Palace episode, they offer their theory for this.

They think that Piri Reis (commander of the navy at that time) obtained maps from ships that passed through the Bosphorus. He was then able to draw a current map of the world from all the diverse information.

They basically explored the world without ever leaving home.

I LOVE Topkapı Palace, it's gorgeous. Have you been?

I had an amazing tour guide who, among many other things, explained how everything had two layers of security (at least) built in. For instance, eunuchs in the Harem were always black just in case the castration was botched - that way, you could still tell the child was not the Sultan's. A bit more here: http://jmilton6000.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/the-harem-and-th...

Talk about redundancy.

Side note: I used to play a game called "New Horizon" (or known as the Uncharted Waters 2 [1]). One of the characters in the game goes by the name of Philly Reis, from Turkey. His level is off the chart (Sailing, Fighting, etc).

Didn't know there's actually someone by the name of Piri Reis from Turkey in the real world!

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncharted_Waters#Uncharted_Wate...

The Piri Reis Map also finds mention in the controversial 'Chariots of Gods' book by Erich Von Daniken which is largely labeled as 'pseudoscientific'. The book as it is about Alien Intervention theory proposes aerial survey as the key to the accuracy of the map


Back in '97, I was part of a team that built Piri The Explorer Ship, a Myst-like edutainment title, aimed to educate about the map... Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrG5-1b0pgk

spam blog, just google any paragraph and you will see

Text copied (incompletely) from here, I believe: http://glenavalon.com/pirireis.html

But even better is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piri_Reis_map

Which links to (comparison to modern accurate maps): http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/pseudosc/piriries.htm

Thanks! We've changed the url (from http://luis40pr.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/world-mysteries-the...) and unkilled the post, since users were probably flagging the source rather than the story.

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