So recently I read a crazy story about Christopher Columbus. According to researchers, he brought back with him from the “New World” not only knowledge and maps but… syphilis. As in, the venereal disease, syphilis.
Syphilis was not known to exist in medieval Europe, and was not known to exist in Latin America, either, prior to Columbus’ travels. The first major outbreak of the disease was in 1495 and it rather perfectly coincides with his return to the continent. Now here’s where things get… really weird. Because if the natives didn’t have it, and the Europeans didn’t either… is it even human in origin, in the first place?
Of course, as always, you can trust the internet with making an already potentially scandalous story even juicier… because explorers the world over have always enjoyed the local female population — after a year at sea, the seafarers are desperate for some attention from local ladies. But if a disease has a non-human origin… does this mean one of the sailors enjoyed the local ‘flaura and fauna’ a little too much?
The most mind-blowing historical fact to me is that it’s highly likely Christopher Columbus or one of his sailors has been a very, very naughty boy and done some things a civilized man is not supposed to do with some local creature. And it gave the world the gift not only of knowledge… but of syphilis, as well.