On November 28, 1519, exactly 498 years ago today, Ferdinand Magellanus found a passage from East to West hence becoming the first European explorer to reach the Pacific from the Atlantic.
On September 20, 1519, Magellan, with a fleet of five ships, had set sail from Spain in a bid to discover a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia.
He sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil where he reportedly searched searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific.
On October 21, he found a narrow passage at the southern tip of South America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland.
After inching through the narrow passage for 38 days, they arrived in the Pacific on November 28.
The shortcut was named the Strait of Megallanus after the visionary Portuguese captain.