Pedro Alvares Cabral was an explorer most famous as the first European to see Brazil. Cabral saw the coast of Brazil on April 22, 1500, and claimed the land for Portugal. He explored the coast for 12 days, landing just north of what is now Rio de Janeiro.
As with many discoveries of the day, Cabral finding Brazil was an accident. He led a fleet charged with establishing a trading route with India. He had the route mapped out by another famous explorer of the day, Vasco de Gama, but decided not to follow it and ended up in Brazil. As a result, Cabral did not explore Brazil, but continued his mission and finally reached the Malabar Coast of India in late September.
He set up a trading post, but an attack by Muslims killed all 50 of Cabral's men left there. Cabral retaliated by burning Indian ships and left to find a more welcoming region. The locals at Cammamore welcomed him and signed trading agreements with Portugal.
Although his mission was successful, the huge loss of life and ships left him in disfavor with King Manuel I. Cabral never received another command and died in 1520. Brazilians still recognize him as the European who discovered their country.