Killed by poisoned arrow and Blighted by a Pirate-like limp... We learn more about the Headstrong Portuguese explorer who played a crucial role in proving the world was round.
Why did Ferdinand Magellan attempt to sail around the globe?
Aristotle may have declared that the Earth was round in 350 B.C., but it wasn't until September 1522 when Magellan's fleet of ships returned home, after circumnavigating the globe, that this was finally proven to be true.
Ferdinand Magellan was born in Portugal, 1480. Orphaned as a child, he became a page to the Queen and learning cartography, navigation and astronomy. In 1505 Magellan joined the navy, travelling to India, the Spice Islands, East Africa and Morocco, where he was wounded and gained his trademark limp.
Unfortunately, Magellan fell out with the Portuguese King so instead approached the King of Spain, Charles V, about gaining support for his trip to collect the precious spices.
Was his expedition successful?
The fleet set sail on 20th September 1519 via the Atlantic to Patagonia, passing through the Strait of Magellan (named in his honour posthumously). This alone took over a month, leading one captain to desert him and return his ship to Spain. The rest of the fleet continued to what Magellan called 'a peaceful body of water', now known as the Pacific Ocena - Pacifico meaning peaceful.
The journey was difficult with rough weather, scurvy, a desperate lack of provisions and another ship lost to a mutinous crew. The final three ships continued but disaster struck yet again when they reached the Philippies in 1521. Magellan became involved in the Battle of Mactan with a local chieftain and was killed by poisoned arrow.