Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer, born from a wealthy family and studied navigation at an early age. During his lifetime, he was able to circumnavigate the world in search for fame and riches. Here are six of the numerous accomplishments of the Portuguese explorer.
1. Well – Known Explorer
Magellan was the first person to lead a European voyage and circumnavigate the world. Although he was rejected by king Manuel of Portugal when he asked the latter to support his expedition to the Spice Islands and many have mocked him and told him he will just fail, Magellan sailed and went on to prove that the world is round.
2. First European to Sail the Pacific Ocean
Many voyagers from Europe had sailed to the Spice Islands from the East but no one had dared to do so coming from the West. The Portuguese explorer was the first one to do so. He led his men and traversed the Atlantic Ocean, then known as the Ocean Sea to reach South America and then continued his expedition. They made their way to the Pacific Ocean, which he himself named and became the first European to sail beyond South America.
3. Survivor of Battles
Before his death in the Philippines, Magellan encountered hardships and battles during his years of circumnavigation. He survived the mutiny of his crew at Port San Julian and killed one of the captains who were behind the uprising. During his earlier expeditions in Africa and India, Ferdinand Magellan survived many battles and joined a fleet of 500 ships to Morocco on a mission summoned by the king of Portugal where he got into a squabble and injured his leg.
4. Spread Christianity
One of the most notable accomplishments of Magellan was the spread of Christianity beyond Europe. In 1521, Magellan, along with his men, set foot on Philippine soil where they discovered the island of Cebu. He became friends with Rajah Humabon and his wife. During their stay, he was able to introduce Christianity to the tribe and converted the natives to Christianity. Although it was in this country where he met his fatal death, his voyage led to the colonization of the Philippines and had it under the Spanish rule for over 300 years.
5. Magellan Strait
While en route to South America, Magellan chose to take a different route and passed an archipelago, the Tierra del Fuego. He and his men braved the dangerous waters of the strait until they reached a vast and peaceful ocean which he later named Mar Pacifico (Pacific Ocean). In honor of the great explorer, the strait was also named after him. It came to be known as the Strait of Magellan or Magellanic Strait.
6. Clouds and Birds
During their voyage to the Spice Islands, the clouds that Magellan spotted in the Eastern hemisphere were named Magellanic Clouds, in honor of the explorer. Later through the expedition, he also discovered migratory birds near the Strait of Magellan. These were penguins which were named Magellanic penguins since he was the first to discover these birds and also the first European to do so.
Although Ferdinand Magellan did not make it to the Spice Islands, he remains to be one of the most famous explorers of all time.