The following legends were compiled in a book by History Express entitled "The Great Explorer Cheng Ho":
In Dr. Gavin Menzies' bestseller, "1421: The Year China Discovered the World", it is argued that Chinese fleets (under the Yongle emperor's command and the authority of Zheng He) reached several destinations that were not documented in official records. The book's central thesis is that the Chinese had traveled to America, the Cape of Good Hope, Australia, as well as the South Pole previous to explorers from other nations. In fact, it is argued that the Chinese had even circumnavigated the world before the Magellan-Elcano expedition that began in 1519. Menzies' claim is that these unrecorded Chinese expeditions occurred in the year 1421. It should be noted that the theory does not indicate that Zheng He had reached such destinations, but rather other captains leading separate fleets under his command.
In his book, Menzies provides a list of evidence from maps to sites of shipwrecks to DNA records of Chinese settlements. That said, the theory is highly controversial as many noted historians criticize its unsubstantial evidence, as well as Menzies' subjectivity in his writing. In another one of Menzies' books, "1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance", it is further claimed that Zheng He did not die on the seventh voyage and went on to travel to Europe and even met the Pope.
Please refer to www.1421.tv or the book itself for a presentation of the evidence.
Although he remains largely unknown in many foreign countries, Zheng He has been featured either referentially or allegorically in many books, comics, video games, etc. Here is a list of such occurrences: