Sifter

Our favorite stories from around the web

Scurvy Ravaged Christopher Columbus’s Crew

By E. Benjamin Andrews [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Scurvy Ravaged Christopher Columbus's Crew

Scurvy is being blamed for the collapse of La Isabela, the first town founded in the New World by Christopher Columbus and his crew in the 1490s. Forensic archaeologists who examined the bones of colonists buried at the site have found evidence of the severe bone infection caused by a vitamin C deficiency, National Geographic reports. The findings, published this month in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, suggest that Columbus’s shipmates arrived in the New World with the disease after a long trek at sea and failed to consume Caribbean foods rich in vitamin C.

See more Signal/Noise.

Follow News from Science

Latest News