Ferdinand Magellan's route, 16th century

Ferdinand Magellan's route, 16th century

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Credit: GARY HINCKS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ferdinand Magellan's route, 16th century. Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan (c.1480-1521) set sail from Seville, Spain, in August 1519 with five sailing ships. His route (white line) took him along the African coast, across the Atlantic, then south and west around the tip of South America. After this, the three remaining ships struck out into the unknown and sailed for 100 days across the Pacific. Magellan died in the Philippines, and only a single ship completed the circumnavigation, returning to Spain in September 1522 under the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano. This expedition was the first circumnavigation of the Earth.

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