“We have arrived! We have hit the jackpot!” yelled Zheng He as his ship and the rest of the fleet docked at the coast. Today, Zheng He and his fleet of ships have finally arrived from their year long journey. Many people have been expecting them to return but no one knew exactly when they’ll be back. The ships that were led by Zheng He were 400 feet long and about 160 feet wide, each. The ships contained a large cargo area in the lower part of the ship. The cargo area pretty much held any goods that they took with them to trade.
Some goods, for trade, that they took with them include silks, porcelain, lacquerware (pottery), and other fine objects. They also had horse stables in the ships’ cargo area, which held any horses that were on the voyage with them. On the top deck of the ships, they also grew food such as crops to help them survive on their long journey. Zheng He’s crew actually had enough supply of food to feed themselves for years. And each ship had a large amount of people, about 1,000 crew members.
Zheng He actually explained to me the reasons for the voyage during an interview:
“I know that many people will be asking why such a grand voyage took place, and I want to answer that. I will say this, this voyage was meant to reestablish Chinese power and fame in the Indian Ocean region, to make sure the Indian Ocean region is aware and knows about us, and also to persuade foreign emperors to pay tribute, forge alliances, share goods, and fight pirates. Also we found some scientific curiosities!”
While on the voyage, they traded many goods that they had taken with them and actually brought back many interesting things with them. I was actually able to get a quick glimpse at what they brought back with them. I was taken to the cargo area of the ships and what I saw, were things no one in China, in our whole region has ever seen, ever.
In some of the horse stables, I saw some weird animals that look really different. This animal...