Magellan, Ferdinand


(Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, ca. 1480 - April 27, 1521) A Portuguese explorer who became a Spanish national so that he could search for a westward route to the Spice Islands (modern Indonesia) for King Charles of Spain. Magellan's expedition of 1519 - 1522 was the first to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and the first to cross the Pacific. The expedition completed a circumnavigation of the globe, but Magellan was killed in battle in the Philippines. Magellan named the Pacific Ocean (from Latin, meaning the peaceful ocean), which he reached via what he named the Straits of Magellan. He also named the Magellanic penguin; he was the first European to describe it. He is remembered as one of the great explorers, and the Magellanic clouds, nearby dwarf galaxies visible from the southern hemisphere are named after him.

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