Zheng He (1371–1433 or 1435), originally named Ma He, was a Hui court eunuch, mariner, explorer, diplomat, and fleet admiral during China's early Ming dynasty. Zheng commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. His larger ships stretched 400 feet in length (Columbus's Santa Maria was 85 feet). These carried hundreds of sailors on four tiers of decks.
As a favorite of the Yongle Emperor, whose usurpation he assisted, he rose t