Ferdinand Magellan's Accomplishments

Ferdinand Magellan's Accomplishments

The Spanish explorer, Ferdinand Magellan had many accolades under his belt. For more information on Ferdinand Magellan's accomplishments, read through the following write-up...
Historyplex Staff
Fernando de Magallanes, or Ferdinand Magellan, as the world knows him, was one of the most popular sea explorers. If we take a look at the timeline and biography of Ferdinand Magellan, we can see that he has many accomplishments to his credit. He was the first one to circumnavigate across the globe. Apart from this important achievement, there are also a few other attainments under his belt. Read through the following paragraphs for more details on Ferdinand Magellan's accomplishments.

Ferdinand Magellan: A Brief Biography

Ferdinand Magellan, born in 1480 in Sabrosa, northern Portugal, was orphaned at the age of 10. When he was 12 years of age, he was appointed as the page-boy for the queen of Portugal, which helped him become educated. It was during his stay at the palace, that young Ferdinand learned about the different explorers and their accomplishments, thereby instigating the flame of adventure in him. Armed with the knowledge of navigating ships, Ferdinand Magellan decided to undertake a voyage when he was older. With the help of the king of Spain, Magellan took five ships with him to explore the Earth. The main purpose of Magellan's expedition was to debunk the belief of Copernicus and many other ancient myths, which said that the world was a flat piece instead of round, and whatever reached the ends of the Earth would be lost forever. During the expedition, Magellan also fought a number of wars, one of which led to his death. Ferdinand Magellan died on April 27 in the year 1521, in a war in the Philippine islands. However, the ships moved on with their voyage and completed it, despite his absence.

Accomplishments of Ferdinand Magellan

So what were Ferdinand Magellan's accomplishments? During the entire duration of his voyage around the globe, Magellan also attained a few other credits, which have earned him name and fame in the world of popular sea explorers. Mentioned below are some of the accomplishments of Ferdinand Magellan, due to which his name is being taken with much respect.
  • Ferdinand Magellan was the first sea explorer to circumnavigate around the globe and prove that the Earth was a sphere, rather than a flat piece of land. He undertook this voyage with a fleet of five ships in September 1519. Though he was unable to complete the voyage, he is credited to be the first person in terms of circumnavigation of the Earth. This is because he was the first one to initiate the voyage.
  • During the onward journey, Magellan's fleet passed the Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago, through the mainland of South America. The strait between both these masses of land was named as the Strait of Magellan in his honor. This strait is also known by its other name the Magellanic Strait.
  • The world's largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean, was named by Ferdinand Magellan. During the journey, the fleet was hit by a sudden storm and one of the ships was wrecked. After crossing the turbulent waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the remaining ships entered another ocean with still waters. Due to the apparent calmness of the water, Magellan named it Mar Pacifico (or the Pacific Ocean), on November 20, 1520.
  • Magellan also discovered the Spice Islands, also known as the East Indies or Moluccas Islands, during the expedition, to his credit. The western route to India was also discovered by Magellan during one of his earlier voyages with D. Francisco de Almeida, the first viceroy of Portuguese India.
  • During the voyage, he also spotted clouds, which were later named as the Magellanic clouds in the Eastern hemisphere. The Magellanic penguins were also first discovered by this eminent sailor, thereby making him the first European to spot these migratory birds. These birds can now be found in the islands near the Strait of Magellan.
These were some of the well-known accomplishments of Ferdinand Magellan. In spite of the fact that he had undertaken the voyage around the Earth, he could not complete it due to his untimely death. A well-known explorer of his time for his courage and determination, Ferdinand Magellan will be forever remembered for his valuable contributions to this world.