On This Day In History: Ferdinand Magellan Reached Pacific And South American Strait – On Nov 28, 1520

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AncientPages.com - On Nov. 28, 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait.

The strait was later named The Strait of Magellan.

Magellan came with three ships all the way from the Atlantic Ocean and became the first explorer from European continent to reach the vast Pacific Ocean.

Ferdinand Magellan

He started his mission of exploration with 270 men on five ships. One of them had been wrecked and another deserted.

His fleet accomplished the westward crossing of the ocean in 99 days.

The Strait of Magellan is a 350-mile navigable passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans located at the southern extremity of South America. It separates the mainland of Patagonia from the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, the eastern part of which today belongs to Argentina, the western and southern parts, including Cape Horn and its surrounding islands, to Chile.

The passage is not easy to navigate because it contains a maze of channels, islands and bays.

Already in 1507, it has been suggested the existence of such a passage. It was recorded on a world map by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller.

However, Magellan was the first to confirm the passage during his expedition’s historic circumnavigation of the world (1519–22). Magellan claimed to have seen this strait on a chart in the treasury of King Manuel I of Portugal.


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