What did Fernand Magellan discover?.

Ask any student who Magellan is, and he will answer without hesitation that he was a great navigator and traveler. Ask the same student: "What did Fernand Magellan discover?", And again you will hear a quick answer: "The Strait of Magellan!" However, not everyone will say that the Strait of Magellan was only a prelude to a much more significant event, which was on a par with the discovery of America: the famous Portuguese was the first to enter the Pacific Ocean and put it on a map (in any case, the small part that he managed research). Let's remember how it was.

A man born in due time

That was the time of daring people, not too burdened by pangs of conscience and moral problems. Reckless adventurers, who value little their life and even less someone else's, plowed the oceans and seas of our planet in all directions. However, it is probably such personalities that were needed in the era of great campaigns and geographical discoveries. Fernand Magellan no doubt met all these requirements.

In 1480 (November 20), a significant event took place in the small Portuguese town of Sabroza, to which the locals did not attach any importance - the future famous navigator was born, whose name will forever remain in the history of mankind.

At the age of 12, Fernand was sent to the royal court to serve as a page, and at 25 he went on his maiden voyage. He spent seven turbulent years on sea voyages, taking part in more than one battle. Then there was a military expedition to the shores of Morocco in order to bring the local ruler to submission. There Magellan was seriously wounded in one of the many skirmishes. The memory of this wound remained for life in the form of lameness. However, this did not cool the hot Portuguese one gram. The tireless spirit of the adventurer pushed him to new travels and discoveries.

Piasters smell like pepper and cinnamon

Today, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and other southern spices are common and inexpensive for us. A completely different state of affairs was in that era. These spices have successfully replaced modern canning, since they made it possible to preserve meat (the main product for long trips and hikes) in an edible form for a long time, and also gave an amazing, refined taste to various dishes. Unsurprisingly, trading in such a product has been one of the most profitable. The bulk of such goods came from the Moluccas along the long-developed eastern route. Magellan wanted to check how things are on the other side - the west.

He offered the Portuguese king an expedition to the Moluccas on a new, unknown path. The idea was rejected, and, as a true adventurer, Fernand abandons his homeland and moves to Spain, which was in the 16th century. the strongest (and richest!) power in the world. There he met with the Spanish monarch, and the highest approval for organizing the campaign was received.

We sing a song to the madness of the brave...

So, on September 20, 1519, five ships left the small Spanish port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda under the command of Magellan. The names of these ships forever entered the historical annals of great travels:

  • "Santiago";
  • Victoria;
  • Trinidad;
  • Concepcion;
  • San Antonio.

Today it is difficult for us to imagine what courage (or madness?) It took to set off across the Atlantic on fragile wooden boats with a displacement of 75 to 120 tons. Even Magellan's contemporaries believed that he would not float far.

From a letter from a Portuguese agent to his king:

“The ships are very dilapidated and covered with patches. I have visited them and I assure Your Majesty that I would not dare to sail on them even to the Canary Islands. "

However, 265 madmen, well versed in naval and military affairs, decided to take the risk. And they won in the end.


We will not detail the entire course of one of the greatest voyages in history. Many novels, scientific works have been created on this topic, and more than one film has been shot. Let's just say that this campaign had everything - violent storms and storms, mutinies and murders, scurvy and hunger... However, Magellan managed to overcome everything and on October 21, 1520 entered a narrow, winding passage, which later received the name of the Strait of Magellan.

The voyage along the mysterious strait continued for more than a month. Having happily escaped all the dangers inevitable when passing such places, on November 28, 1520, the thinning flotilla (4 ships out of 5 remained in service) entered the vast expanses of water. So one of the greatest geographical discoveries was made - a new ocean was found, which the brave navigator christened the Pacific Ocean - in honor of the good weather that accompanies sailors while sailing in its waters.


The way home was difficult. Only 18 people out of 256 managed to return to their native Spanish coast. Three years after sailing, on September 6, 1522, the only surviving ship ("Victoria") entered the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

The legendary captain was not among the survivors. He died in a tribal clash on the island of Guam. Magellan sided with one of the leaders of the island aborigines and, as they say, died a heroic death in battle. However, for people of this kind, this is a natural end. Death in bed is not their option. Having done everything that should have been done, the great commander ended his life the way he was supposed to - in a mortal battle with the enemy.

In conclusion, we can say that the life of such individuals has always been and will be an example for mankind. Courage, courage, unshakable strength of mind - these are the qualities that allowed these people to rise above the crowd and perform great deeds.