Estonians beat Columbus to north America

New evidence indicates Estonians may have been the first Europeans to settle North America.*

Archaeologists excavating in the rocky coast of Maine in the United States have discovered a historical encampment, which, if their theory holds true, will represent the earliest known European settlement in North America – predating Christopher Columbus by centuries and even the earlier arrival of Leif Erikson by decades. Located at Acadia National Park, the dig site offers evidence that Estonian seafarers were the first cross-Atlantic migrants to settle the New World, in approximately the year 950.

Several clues pointing toward Estonian origins were identified, including a rudimentary sauna complete with self-flogging birch branches, a loaf of petrified dark rye bread and pickled herring bones. Samples from the various beverage containers revealed traces of vodka. However, molecular analysis revealed the vodka was not the grain version favoured by Leif Erikson and his rowdy crew but rather a varietal traceable to a potato grown exclusively on Saaremaa (an island off the coast of Estonia).

1024px-Acadia_National_Park_02 Plh1234us
Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo by Plh1234us, shared under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Lead archaeologist Elva Jones of the Venerable Archaeology Legion of Estonia (VALE) explains further: “Curiously, once we identified the leader’s living quarters, we found dozens of bow ties. Striped bow ties, polkadot bow ties, solid colour bow ties – you name it. It seems leadership in Estonian culture is intricately linked to the bow tie.” Although bow ties are thought to have originated in the 17th century, carbon dating shows these hand-knit itchy woollen versions predate their modern pleasant silk and polyester cousins by hundreds of years.

Further careful excavation revealed the only traces of written language at the site – an outhouse stall vandalised with Estonian language limericks and graffiti. The scribble included hilarious absurdities and crude references to unprintable bathroom habits. Researchers at the University of Tartu in Estonia are planning a literary short course based on the profane privy poetry.

To acknowledge the discovery of the Estonian settlement, and perhaps correct a historical mistake, US Congresswoman Ima Vemp introduced legislation to replace Columbus Day with a new federal holiday – Estonia Day. Congresswoman Vemp stated that “we owe this band of Estonian mariners and New World settlers a federal holiday and besides, Christopher Columbus was a jackass.” As envisioned by Congresswoman Vemp, Estonia Day will be a time to celebrate Estonian culture with a day of accordion music, exotic peasant cuisine, and quietly keeping to one’s self.

* Please note that this article was April Fool’s Day spoof. Cover: Estonian settlers in America are believed to have lived in sod houses similar to the ones used by Viking settlements decades later.

40 thoughts on “Estonians beat Columbus to north America”

    1. I am so glad I found this piece ! It was on a mutual friend’s Facebook
      She is one of the few Estos I know in Virginia.

      I laughed myself silly! Brilliant!
      You should quit your day job and get paid for this type of satire!

      Your April fool’s joke made me homesick for all things Estonian. Being married to an American clouds my ethnic origins. Although
      truth be told…this same American husband begins to salivate as soon as whip out my Esto cookbook, especially when Rosolje and Sult are on the menu.


      Ene D. Buckley

  1. Andres Simonson

    I guess I’ll have to check my research before publishing next time… For non-Estonian readers, a few subtle ones that may not have registered: The acronym “VALE” translates to the Estonian world “false.” The last name of Congresswoman “Vemp” translates to “prank” – Ima Prank. Last, Elva is a town in Estonia (where my father lived actually) so the lead archaeologist’s name is a spoof on Indiana Jones of film. Happy April 1st to all!

    1. Laine Rebassoo Taylor-Dunham

      I almost fell for it until I started reading and remembered your last year’s hoax/joke. You’ve gotten me so eager and ready to share new findings with the world, only to snatch it away ever so quickly. You are an evil, evil,….genius. Thanks for another entertaining April Fools. 😉

      1. Andres Simonson

        My pleasure, and thank you. And thanks to the EW editor for encouraging the concept and allowing me to catch a few readers off guard – April 1st is a favorite holiday of mine..

        1. I am Estonian. I live in BC on Vancouver Is.
          I laughed so hard I almost fell out of bed. It was sent to me by a fellow Balt in Seattle who thought it was breakthrough news!
          Thanx so much!

          Anne Marie (nee Neemre)in Hiiumaa

  2. Boriss Sagalajev

    Before Columbus discovered America, there had been no potatoes in Europe!
    What “potato grown exclusively on Saaremaa” is the author referring to?

  3. Really well written and totally plausible! I will celebrate today by keeping to myself. –Antonija Mitt, Milwaukee, WI

  4. Technically… If, as some suggest, that the first people who reached America were the nomads, that drifted there along the glacier at the end of the last ice age some 15000 years ago, then they were… Maybe not Estonians, but they spoke a language that has many Estonian stems.

  5. 9 – (64:7.19) About five thousand years ago a chance meeting occurred between an Indian tribe and a lone Eskimo group on the southeastern shores of Hudson Bay. These two tribes found it difficult to communicate with each other, but very soon they intermarried with the result that these Eskimos were eventually absorbed by the more numerous red men. And this represents the only contact of the North American red man with any other human stock down to about *****one thousand years ago, when the white man first chanced to land on the Atlantic coast.*****

    The Urantia book…1955

  6. Alan Tallmeister

    Hah! I bet other Estonian explorers even made it to Australia long before the post WW2 immigrants who settled in Sydney and Melbourne. A while back a TLC program compared various anrhropological features of different human populations through the world. The most elongated skulls are posessed by the Finns (close enough) and the Australian aboriginals. I’ve always thought that Yvonne Goolagong, the aboriginal Australian tennis star, had an Estonian ring to her surname. As well, the native name for Ayer’s Rock is Uluru. Just double the second u and it could be any town or village in Estonia. I bet the original Estos in the outback were a bit homesick when they named it.

  7. Excellent! Often overlooked for their contributions to the world. Consider language: If it weren’t for the Estonians, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians would not know what to call theirlittle meat and fruit pies: the words perogie and peroshki clearly come from pirukas. And the Germans wouldn’t be able to say “Yes” : Jah! Oops, it’s already April 2nd.

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