Ferdinand Magellan

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Ferdinand Magellan (Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, Spanish: Fernando or Hernando de Magallanes); (Spring 1480April 27, 1521, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines) was a Portuguese maritime explorer who while in the service of the Spanish crown, tried to find a westward route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. This was the first known successful attempt to circumnavigate the Earth. He did not complete his final westward voyage; he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. As he died farther west than the Spice Islands, which he had visited on earlier voyages from the west, he became one of the first individuals to cross all the meridians of the globe. He was the first person to lead an expedition sailing westward from Europe to Asia and to cross the Pacific Ocean.

Magellan should also be recognised as the first European explorer to enter the Pacific from the Strait of Magellan, which he discovered. He is also remembered as the first European to reach the archipelago of what is now known as the Philippines, which was unknown to the western world before his landing. Arab traders had established commerce within the archipelago centuries earlier.

Of the 270 crew members who set out with Magellan to circumnavigate the earth, only 18 completed the circumnavigation of the globe and managed to return to Spain. They were led by Spaniard Juan Sebastián Elcano, who took over command of the expedition after Magellan's death.

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