240 men started Magellan's voyage around the world. Only 18 finished it.
The explorer died on a Philippines beach in April 1521, joining the scores who perished in Spain's quest to circumnavigate the globe.
At the southernmost tip of South America lies a perilous strait linking the Atlantic with the Pacific that bears Magellan’s name. When the expedition spent a month cautiously navigating these waters in November 1520, the fleet had been reduced from five to three ships. Colored woodcut, 1880.
Published April 22, 2021
• 15 min read
This content is Subscriber-Exclusive
You must have a National Geographic subscription to explore this article.
SUBSCRIBE NOWto get access to exclusive stories, plus a century of archives, photos, and videos. Already a subscriber?Sign In