In 1492, Christopher Columbus set out to solve a mystery.  What would happen if you sailed west across the Atlantic Ocean?  At the time, people didn't know.  Even Columbus didn't know what he actually found. 

He thought he found some islands near India, but it turned out he was in a new land that Europeans had not known about.  After word of his discovery spread, other explorers soon followed.  They wanted to solve other mysteries.

Sebastiano del Piombo painted this portrait thirteen years after Columbus's death.