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10 Interesting Christopher Columbus Facts for Kids (2024 Updated)

Christopher Columbus is widely known for being a traveler and an explorer. Even though many believed that he was the person who discovered America, historians have deduced that this particular fact is simply untrue! 

Christopher Columbus Facts for Kids

His claim to fame came from being one of the world’s most well-known explorers, and in this article, we’re going to delve into his life and work. Let’s get right into it.

What Was Christopher Columbus’ Early Life Like?

While historians haven’t been able to find out very much about his early childhood, they think that he was born between August and October 1451. He was born in the Republic of Genoa to Susanna Fontanarossa and Domenico Colombo. His father weaved wool for a living, and also owned a cheese stand. Columbus also had a sister and three brothers.

He worked at his father’s cheese stand as a child to help his father out. Some of Columbus’ early writings state that he first traveled the sea at the age of 14, though researchers have remained divided on the accuracy of this information. 

When Did Christopher Columbus First Become an Explorer?

As we mentioned earlier, Columbus’ first documented journey took place when he was 14, but researchers are unclear on whether this information is correct or not. When he was in his early twenties, Columbus and his family first moved to Savona, a seaport and commune in Liguria, in the northern region of Italy. 

Christopher Columbus The Explorer

Later on, after beginning an apprenticeship as a business agent for the Di Negro, Spinola, and Centurione families, Columbus began traveling. He first traveled to Greece on business and made several other trips to carry cargo. Based on the writings and other details obtained from this period in his life, researchers suspect that Columbus traveled to England, Ireland, and possibly Iceland, though many disagree about the latter. 

In the late 1470s, Columbus continued his travels, visiting places like Lisbon, where he met his brother, and where he continued living until 1485. He traded for the Centurione family, and they even sent him to Madeira to buy sugar. 

As the decades went by, Columbus traveled all over the world, which we’ll explore in more detail. 

7 Interesting Facts about Christopher Columbus

1. Christopher Columbus was not the person who said the Earth was round. 

Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus was not the learned person who stated that the Earth was round. If you believe that this was true, we’re here to set the record straight and tell you that it was the Greeks who debunked this rumor several centuries before Columbus was even born! Every educated person from his time knew that the Earth was round and not flat. 

2. He was interested in traveling to visit Asia. 

Traveling Ship

After the fall of Constantinople, the Silk Road was closed to traders who were Christian. This route had previously allowed Europeans to safely and easily travel to India and other parts of Asia. However, Columbus and his brother wrote a letter to King Afonso of Portugal and proposed that traveling west would help them reach the Asian countries quickly. His proposal was accepted. Researchers believe that the King also sent him a map drawn by an astronomer.

3. Christopher Columbus was not his actual name! 

Christopher Columbus Statue

Although this man is widely known in history because of his iconic name, the explorer’s real name is still a mystery. Since he was born in Genoa, which is now considered to be a part it’s likely that his name is Italian in origin, and he might have been named Cristoforo Colombo. However, both Columbus and other have often referred to him as Christofferus de Colombo, Christovam, and Christoual.

4. He was terrible at math. 

Researchers believe that even though Columbus traveled much of the world and visited so many places, he was probably terrible at math. This was because many of his travel plans were made simply guessing the routes and the time it would take to get there. Though there were two methods of calculating latitude and longitude, Columbus argued that his method of calculation would yield different results. This caused him to reach his intended destinations much later that originally planned. 

5. Christopher Columbus didn’t ever come close to America. 

Christopher Columbus The Explorer

Here’s another popular fact that we’re debunking for you! Even though this information used to be taught in some schools as a fact, Christopher Columbus did not, in fact, ever travel to or discover North America. He traveled to places that are now Caribbean islands, the Bahamas, Cuba, and various parts of South and Central America

6. Christopher was stripped of his governorship. 

This story is a bit of a wild one! Columbus was sent back to Spain in chain and was stripped of his governorship because of how brutally he treated the Spanish natives. According to writings from the time, Columbus treated the locals badly, and used force and other brutal methods of treatment to get the people of the area to listen to him. However, once the governor got wind of this, he sent Columbus and his brothers back to Spain, where they were jailed for six weeks. 

7. His remains have traveled the world! 

After Christopher Columbus died, his body was buried in Valladolid, Spain. A few years later, his body was moved to his family’s mausoleum, which was located in Sevilla. After that, his remains were shifted to the Dominican Republic, and many years after that, his bones were moved to Cuba. 


Christopher Columbus was an explorer with thousands of stories to tell. If he were alive today, his travels would have been heavily documented across social media, and he would have had a large following interested in his daily activities! Still, even though Columbus lived his colorful life several centuries ago, his journey as a traveler and explorer made his name one of the most famous in history. Now that you know more about his life and work, we encourage you to keep reading about him, and draw out a plan for your own travels someday!