According to researcher and author S. Frederick Starr, Abu Raihan al-Biruni (973-1048).
An Muslim scholar from Central Asia, discovered America some 500 years before Columbus — without leaving his study!
Biruni, an expert in mathematics, astronomy, mineralogy, geography, cartography, geometry and trigonometry, studied the ancient Greeks, Indians, medieval Arabs and fellow Central Asians, then came up with completely new methods and technologies.
According to writer By S. Frederick Starr, Biruni measured the earth’s circumference that was a mere 10.44 miles less than the definitive modern measurement! He wrote his lifetime’s research in his book Codex Masudicus, where he summarised everything known at the time about astronomy and allied disciplines. Here he discussed the possibility that the sun is stationary and that the earth revolves around it and also hypothesised about the existence of North and South America.
Starr further explains that when Biruni studied his research on the earth’s circumference and fixed all known geographical locations onto his new, more accurate map of the globe, he noticed that the entire breadth of Eurasia, from the westernmost tip of Africa to the easternmost shore of China, spanned only about two fifths of the globe. This left three-fifth of the Earth’s surface unaccounted for. Was three-fifth of the Earth’s circumference really nothing but water? Biruni rejected it on the grounds of both observation and logic.
Biruni concluded that somewhere in the vast expanses of ocean between Europe and Asia there must be one or more unknown land masses or continents. He concluded that the unknown land masses between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would have to be inhabitable as, in fact, they were.
Starr concludes, “Biruni’s constant urge to quantify whatever he observed, combined with his enquiring mind, was to plunge him down a path that led to epochal insights, which in most respects put Columbus, Cabot and the Vikings in the shade.”