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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The World Is Not Flat

Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan would set sail on this date, September 20th in 1519. The Spanish King would first give his approval for the voyage. It would be a voyage that would go down in history. There would be 5 ships outfitted and ready to sail on the voyage from Spain. Approximately 250 men would be on board these 5 ships. First he would travel the familiar waters along the west coast of Africa then south to the equator.

Magellan's voyage would go down in history as the first Europeans to sail around the world. It also proved that the world was round and not flat as commonly believed.  The search for the western route to the Moluccas or Spice Islands would take Magellan and his crew a few years to travel. Magellan would find his fate when he was killed on April 27, 1521 just a little over a year after the journey began. Only 2 of the 5 ships would continue on the journey to the spice islands. Only one of the five ships would make the voyage back to Spain. 

Magellan had the goal to reach the East Indies by sailing westward from Europe. No one was sure this could be done. He also wanted to return via the same route. After his death his crews found that the winds would require them to continue to sail west around the world, something that had never been done. After the trip new found facts including the realization that the world was not flat was recognized. 


  1. Though Magellan certainly was not a saint and towards the end he went a little crazy (which ultimately caused his death), he certainly had a vision, and he changed the world. I'm Portuguese and we certainly have a lot of famous sailors in our history, but Magellan has to be one of the greatest. Thank you for sharing!

    1. thanks for commenting yes you are so right the history of your culture is full of exciting finds.


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