What Did Ferdinand Magellan Discover?

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Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Straits of Magellan, a passageway through southern South America and the Pacific Ocean. While Magellan receives credit as the first to circumnavigate the world, his slave Enrique was the first to complete the trip in one direction.

Magellan’s journey began in August 1519 with five ships and 270 men, but tragedies along the way left only one ship and 18 men to return home three years later. Magellan was one of the losses along the way, dying in a battle in the Philippians. The original intent of Magellan’s fleet was to find the Spice Islands. The one remaining ship returned to Spain heavily loaded with spices.