History: The First Circumnavigation of the World

The first circumnavigation of the globe, how it started and the truth of who ended the expedition.

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Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan born in 1480, is the first man believed to have sailed the world. Magellan sponsored by Spain set sail across the Atlantic in September 1519, in search of the spice-rich East Indies. This made it the first expedition from Europe to cross the Pacific Ocean.

Magellan who was a prosperous voyager and navigator, wanted to find the passage through South America so that he could sail all the way from the Atlantic to the ocean beyond America, which is now known as the pacific.

In 1519, he left Spain with five ships and 260 men. He found the strait, which is now named after him in the Pacific Ocean by accident when his ship was driven towards land by a storm. Magellan named the ocean Pacific which means “peaceful”, because it was calm and pleasant when he entered it.

Unfortunately, Magellan couldn’t complete the expedition. Even though he is credited for masterminding the first expedition around the world, the first person who actually completed the circumnavigation of the world is Magellan’s second in command, Juan Sebastian de Elcano.

Magellan had been killed in a battle with natives on the Philippine Island of Mactan 1521, halfway through the voyage. This left Elcano to lead the only surviving ship, Victoria, back to Spain. Of the 260 men, only 18 survived the expedition, Elcano inclusive.





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Written by Monsurat

Chewa Tribe of Malawi

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