On October 12, 1492, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus made landfall in what is now the Bahamas. Columbus and his ships landed on an island that the native Lucayan Taino people called Guanahani. Columbus re-named it San Salvador. 
 
No one is quite sure where Guanahani/San Salvador is. Columbus describes the island as “very flat, with very green trees,” and a “very large lake in the middle.” That describes hundreds of islands and atolls in the Bahamas! Columbus isn’t even clear if Guanahani/San Salvador is a single island or a small archipelago
 
Juan de la Cosa was a cartographer sailing with Columbus. (He was also the owner of Columbus’ largest vessel, the Santa Maria.) De la Cosa made a map of the voyage years later. While he rather accurately represents the position and shape of the islands we know as Cuba and Hispaniola, the position of Guanahani/San Salvador is unclear.
 
Historically, most people thought the island first sighted by Columbus’ crew was Watlings Island. In fact, the name of the island was changed to San Salvador in 1925. (It is still called San Salvador today.) However, a National Geographic investigation in the 1980s claimed the real site of Guanahani/San Salvador is the uninhabited island of Samana Cay. Still other historians think Guanahani/San Salvador is the nearby Plana Cays.
accurately
Adverb

exactly or perfectly.

Noun

a group of closely scattered islands in a large body of water.

Noun

a coral reef or string of coral islands that surrounds a lagoon.

cartographer
Noun

person who makes maps.

crew
Noun

workers or employees on a boat or ship.

explorer
Noun

person who studies unknown areas.

Hispaniola
Noun

large island in the Caribbean Sea, home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

investigation
Noun

process involving examination and research into a topic or situation.

Noun

body of land surrounded by water.

Noun

body of water surrounded by land.

Noun

symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.

position
Noun

location.

represent
Verb

to stand for a person, community, or idea.

Taino
Noun

native people of parts of northern South America and the Caribbean.

uninhabited
Adjective

place where no people make a permanent home.

vessel
Noun

craft for traveling on water, usually larger than a rowboat or skiff.

voyage
Noun

long journey or trip.

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