Cape Espichel, Portugal

Cape Espichel, Portugal

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cape Espichel, Portugal. This cape is located near Sesimbra, Portugal, on a cliff plunging into the deep waters below and exposed to prevailing westerly winds and fierce Atlantic storms. A lighthouse signals the danger of ships being wrecked on the rocks and broken up by the waves. This is the last landmark that Portuguese sailors and navigators, such as Vasco da Gama on his voyage to India in 1497-9, would see after they left the Port of Lisbon. These voyages took place in the 15th and 16th centuries during what is now called the Age of Discovery.

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