Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese explorer

Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese explorer

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ferdinand Magellan (c.1480-1521), Portuguese navigator and explorer. Magellan is most famous for heading the first expedition to eventually circumnavigate the world. Magellan set sail from Seville, Spain, in August 1519 intending to sail west until he arrived in India, avoiding Portuguese-controlled waters to the east. After crossing the stretch of water below South America, now known as the Strait of Magellan, the fleet struck out across a vast ocean, which Magellan called the Pacific because of its calmness. Over 100 days later they reached the Philippines, where Magellan was killed during a squabble with natives. Only one ship made it back to Spain, arriving in September 1522. Coloured engraving from the 1875 edition of Vies des Savants Illustres.

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