When we think of famous explorers, we think of Indiana Jones or the legendary Jack Sparrow. Although these fictional characters hold a dear space in our hearts, we intend to show you real famous explorers whose activities go beyond trading exotic parrots or arguing about who lost the compass. Here are five famous explorers whose voyages changed the world.
This Italian Explorer Planned To Steal The Moon
Christopher Columbus, whose real name was Cristoforo Colombo, is one of the most influential explorers in history. Born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, present-day Italy, he discovered what we’ve all been taught in history class.
In 1492, he sailed the Atlantic Ocean to find a new route to Asia. However, he and his team arrived at an island, present-day Bahamas, and claimed it for Spain. There, he met the inhabitants, who were Indigenous Americans.
Flat Earthers Detest This Popular Explorer
Ferdinand Magellan is another popular explorer born in Portugal in 1480. After his parents died, he became a page for the queen and spent his time studying celestial navigation, which prompted his sailing hobbies.
In 1519, Ferdinand and his 270-men crew sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to circumnavigate the earth. However, he was murdered by Mactan natives, forcing his crew to return to Spain in September 1522 with only 19 members after completing his mission.
Despite Being The Queen’s Favorite, He was Killed For Treason
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English explorer who played a significant role in colonizing North America. He became one of the Queen’s favorites after helping suppress Ireland’s rebellion. However, this explorer fell from grace after defying the Queen.
After being knighted in 1585, he became the Queen’s Guard and helped establish a colony named “Virginia.” He fell from grace after secretly marrying one of the Queen’s maid-of-honors. He was accused of treason and eventually killed by King James I.
He Died of Malaria, Yet His Name Lives On
Born on 9 March 1451, Amerigo Vespucci is a respected explorer whose voyage exploration helped find new settlements. Unlike other explorers, he proved that the supposed “new world” others assumed to be Asia was actually a new unknown continent called South America.
On May 10, 1497, he embarked on his first voyage, and on the third day, Vespucci discovered present-day Rio de Janeiro. In 1507, America was named after him, and in 1512, he died of Malaria in Spain. During his lifetime, he was awarded the position of the office of piloto mayor of Spain.
This Explorer Murdered Over 100,000 Indigenous People
Born around 1485, Hernán Cortés was a Spanish explorer widely known for defeating the Aztec Empire for Mexico. He was awarded the title of marqués del Valle de Oaxaca for his efforts, but here’s how he made his success possible.
In 1518, he set off to explore Mexico. Due to the language barrier, he used a native woman to serve as his interpreter. Also, he strategically aligned with some Indigenous people and pitted them against one another. Using this ploy, he fought with the clan to take over the Aztec Empire.