Explorers as encountered and explained by a world traveler.

Explorers

Explorers as encountered and explained by a world traveler.

 Pharaoh Necho  Egypt  about 600 bc  According to Herodotus, Necho dispatched a fleet that successfully circumnavigated Africa.
 Scylax of Caria  Greece  about 515 bc  Sailed down the Indus R. to Arabian Sea. Navigated W through Indian Ocean and Red Sea to Suez.
 Hanno  Carthage  about 480 bc  Sailed along NW coast of Africa, perhaps as far as Cape Palmas.
 Himilco  Carthage  about 450 bc  Explored SW coast of Europe N from Cádiz, Spain. Believed by some to have reached Britain and Ireland.
 Alexander the Great  Macedonia  334-323 bc  Conquered and explored Syria, Palestine, Persia (now Iran), Egypt, and a portion of N India.
 Pytheas  Greek colony of Massilia (Marseille)  about 300 bc  Sailed along E coast of Britain as far as Orkney Islands.
 Eudoxus of Cyzicus  Asia Minor  about 100 bc  Explored the Arabian Sea. Said also to have sailed along W coast of Africa.
 Gaius Julius Caesar  Rome  58-52 bc  Conquered and explored most of W Europe and part of Britain.
 Eric the Red  Norway  982-986 ad  Explored and colonized SW coast of Greenland.
 Leif Eriksson  Iceland  about 1000 ad  Explored Vinland, variously identified as coast of Labrador, of Newfoundland Island, of Nova Scotia, and of New England.
 Marco Polo  Venice  1271-1295 ad  Traveled through Central Asia, India, China, and Malay Archipelago.
 Ibn Batt?tah  Morocco  1325-1349 ad  Traveled in Africa, the Middle East, India, China, and in steppes of Central Asia.
 Gil Eannes  Portugal  1433 ad  Sailed S along W coast of Africa, past Cape Bojador.
 Diogo Cam  Portugal  1482-1486 ad  Explored mouth of Congo R. and explored part of coast of W Africa.
 Bartolomeu Dias  Portugal  1488 ad  Explored Algoa and Mossel bays in S Africa, observing and naming Cape of Storms, later renamed Cape of Good Hope.
 Christopher Columbus  Italy  1492-1504 ad  Explored America and established colonies during four voyages across the Atlantic.
 John Cabot  Italy  1497-1498 ad  Made two voyages under English flag. Explored Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia; also sailed along E and W coasts of Greenland, E coast of Labrador, W coast of Baffin Island, and a portion of S coast of Newfoundland.
 Vasco da Gama  Portugal  1497-1498 ad  Sailed around Cape of Good Hope to Malindi on E coast of Africa, and then across Indian Ocean to Calicut, India.
 Amerigo Vespucci  Italy  1497-1502 ad  Sailed through Caribbean along coast of South America. The German geographer Martin Waldseemüller published his accounts and suggested that New World be named America.
 Alonso de Ojeda  Spain  1499-1500 ad  Explored N coast of South America.
 Vicente Yáñex Pinzón  Spain  1499-1500 ad  Sailed from Spain, touched coast of Brazil not far from Recife, visited mouth of Amazon R., and then proceeded N as far as Guiana.
 Pedro Álvares Cabral  Portugal  1500 ad  Touched coast of Brazil and rounded Cape of Good Hope.
 Gaspar Corte-Real  Portugal  1501 ad  Explored NE coast of New France and Newfoundland.
 Rodrigo de Bastidas  Spain  1501 ad  Explored Central America.
 Sebastian Cabot  Italy  1508-1509 ad  Voyaged to Labrador while searching for the Northwest Passage, and possibly sailed as far as the Hudson Bay.
 Juan Ponce de León  Spain  1513 ad  Explored and named Florida.
 Vasco Núñez de Balboa  Spain  1513 ad  Explored Isthmus of Panama and named Pacific Ocean.
 Ferdinand Magellan  Portugal  1519-1521 ad  Explored estuary of Río de la Plata, sailed S, proceeding through strait which bears his name, and traversed Pacific Ocean to Philippine Islands, where he was killed. He was first person to sail W around the globe to a longitude previously reached on an E
 Juan Sebastián del Cano  Spain  1519-1522 ad  A commander in Magellan’s expedition. After Magellan’s death, del Cano, in command of Victoria, the expedition’s sole surviving ship, returned to Spain by way of Moluccas and Cape of Good Hope, thus being first to circumnavigate the globe.
 Hernán Cortés  Spain  1519-1536 ad  Explored E coasts of Mexico and Yucatán, conquered Mexico, and explored Baja California.
 Francisco Pizarro  Spain  1523-1535 ad  Explored W coast of South America and conquered Peru.
 Giovanni da Verrazzano  Italy  1524 ad  Explored E coast of North America N to Newfoundland, sailing into New York and Narragansett bays.
 Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca  Spain  1527-1542 ad  Explored SW region of what is now U.S. Headed an expedition to the Río de la Plata region, and then across S Brazil to Asunción, Paraguay.
 Jacques Cartier  France  1534-1536 ad  Explored W coast of Newfoundland and Gulf of Saint Lawrence, sailing up the Saint Lawrence R. as far as site of Montréal.
 Hernando de Soto  Spain  1539-1542 ad  Explored what is now SE United States and part of lower Mississippi Valley.
 Hernando de Alarcón  Spain  1540 ad  Explored the Colorado R.
 Francisco Vásquez de Coronado  Spain  1540-1542 ad  Traced Colorado R. northward, and sighted Grand Canyon; explored S California, New Mexico, N Arizona, N Texas, Oklahoma, and E Kansas.
 Pedro de Valdivia  Spain  1540-1542 ad  Explored Chile
 Francisco de Orellana  Spain  1541-1542 ad  Traced Amazon R., from its upper reaches in Andes to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean.
 Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo  Portugal  1542-1543 ad  Explored W coast of Mexico and landed at Point Loma, Calif.
 Richard Chancellor  England  1553-1554 ad  Sailed around N Scandinavia to White Sea and proceeded overland from Arkhangel’sk to Moscow.
 Sir Martin Frobisher  England  1576-1578 ad  Explored Frobisher Bay and Hudson Strait.
 Sir Francis Drake  England  1577-1580 ad  In the Golden Hind, completed second circumnavigation of globe.
 John Davis  England  1585-1593 ad  Skirted E coast of Greenland S to Cape Farewell, turned and sailed along W Coast of Greenland to Baffin Bay. On a subsequent voyage to South America, he may have explored Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).
 Willem Barents  Netherlands  1594-1597 ad  Explored Novaya Zemlya, Barents Sea, and Barents Island.
 Sir Walter Raleigh  England  1595 ad  Explored Guiana, coast of Trinidad, and Orinoco R.
 Pedro Fernandes de Queirós  Portugal  1596-1606 ad  Explored Marquesas and Solomon Islands of Pacific Ocean.
 Sebastián Vizcaíno  Spain  1596-1603 ad  Explored W coast of Mexico between Acapulco and Baja California; sailed to San Diego and Monterey bays.
 Samuel de Champlain  France  1603-1613 ad  Traced course of Saint Lawrence R. northward to Lachine Rapids above Montréal, explored the E coast of North America S from Nova Scotia to Vineyard Haven, founded and named Québec, and explored Lake Champlain.
 Henry Hudson  England  1609-1610 ad  Explored Hudson R., Hudson Strait, and Hudson Bay.
 Jakob Le Maire and Willem Cornelis Schouten  Netherlands  1615-1617 ad  Rounded S tip of Tierra del Fuego, passed through Le Maire Strait, observed and named Cape Horn, and reached Moluccas.
 William Baffin  England  1616 ad  Explored Baffin Bay.
 Abel Janszoon Tasman  Netherlands  1642-1644 ad  Explored New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Gulf of Carpentaria, and Tasmania.
 Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet  France  1673 ad  Traveled down Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers to mouth of the Arkansas R., and traced Illinois R. back to Lake Michigan.
 René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle  France  1682 ad  Traced Mississippi R. to its mouth in Gulf of Mexico.
 Vitus Jonassen Bering  Denmark  1725-1741 ad  Explored Bering Sea and Bering Strait.
 Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye  Canada  1742 ad  Explored Manitoba, North Dakota, W Minnesota, and possibly a portion of Montana.
 Samuel Hearne  England  1770-1772 ad  Traced Coppermine R. northward from its basin to Arctic shores of Canada.
 Captain James Cook  England  1768-1779 ad  Explored and charted coast of New Zealand, finished charting of world’s major bodies of water, and disproved long-standing theory that there was a large, unexplored, habitable land in southern hemisphere; explored coasts of Antarctica and Hawaii.
 James Bruce  Scotland  1770-1771 ad  Visited source of Blue Nile, then followed river to its confluence with White Nile.
 Sir Alexander Mackenzie  Scotland  1789 ad  Set out from Fort Chipewyan in Alberta, skirted Great Slave Lake, and followed Mackenzie R. to its Arctic outlet.
 Robert Gray  United States  1791-1792 ad  Explored Grays Harbor and Pacific NW coast; sailed up Columbia R.
 Mungo Park  Scotland  1795-1796 ad  Ascended Gambia R., traversed N district of Kaarta in Mali and reached Niger R.
 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark  United States  1804-1806 ad  Traveled overland from St. Louis, Missouri, along Missouri and Columbia rivers to Pacific Ocean and back.
 Zebulon Montgomery Pike  United States  1806-1807 ad  Led expeditions to headwaters of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Red rivers; sighted Pikes Peak.
 John Davis  United States  1821 ad  First to land on the Antarctic continent.
 Richard and John Lander  England  1830-1831 ad  Traced downstream Niger R. of W Africa, establishing its course and outlet.
 Sir James Clark Ross  England  1831-1843 ad  Determined position of north magnetic pole at that time, discovered Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, and charted Antarctica coast along Ross Sea and south to Victoria Land.
 David Livingstone  Scotland  1849-1873 ad  Traversed S Africa, exploring Lake Ngami, Zambezi R., Victoria Falls, and Lakes Chilwa, Malawi (Nyasa), and Bangweulu.
 Heinrich Barth  Germany  1850-1855 ad  Made extensive explorations in W Africa, visiting upper Benue R. and Tombouctou (Timbuktu).
 Sir Richard Francis Burton  England  1853-1858 ad  Made pilgrimage to Mecca; explored Somalia, Ethiopia, and Lake Tanganyika.
 John Hanning Speke  England  1857-1862 ad  Explored Lake Victoria, which he identified as a source of the Nile.
 Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills  Ireland  1860-1861 ad  First Europeans to cross continent of Australia, from S to N.
 Sir Samuel White Baker  England  1861-1864 ad  Explored tributaries of Nile R. in Ethiopia and Lake Albert in E Central Africa.
 Sir Henry Morton Stanley  Wales  1874-1889 ad  Explored Lake Edward, surveyed Lake Tanganyika, and traced course of Congo R. from its headstreams to its mouth on W coast of Africa. Later explored the Ruwenzori Range in E central Africa and followed Semliki R. to its source in Lake Edward.
 Verney Lovett Cameron  England  1875 ad  First European to traverse equatorial Africa, from E to W.
 Sir Frances Younghusband  British India  1886-1904 ad  Journeyed from Beijing to northern India, then led a British expedition into Tibet.
 Robert Edwin Peary  United States  1908-1909 ad  Generally credited as the first person to reach the North Pole.
 Sven Anders Hedin  Sweden  1890-1908 ad  Explored Chinese Turkistan, Tibet, and Mongolia; found sources of Indus, Brahmaputra, and Sutlej rivers.
 Sir Aurel Stein  Hungary  1900-1916 ad, 1930 ad  Made four expeditions in Central Asia, tracing ancient caravan routes between China and West and mapping little-known regions.
 Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton  Ireland  1901-1916 ad  Made several trips to Antarctica, almost reaching the South Pole.
 Ludwig Mylius-Erichsen  Denmark  1902-1907 ad  Explored coast of Greenland.
 Roald Amundsen  Norway  1903-1926 ad  Made first transit of Northwest Passage, first to reach South Pole; and circled North Pole in an airplane with American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth.
 Hiram Bingham  Hawaii  1911 ad  Explored Incan lands and located ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.
 Harry St. John B. Philby  England  1917-1932 ad  Crossed Arabia from sea to sea. First European to visit Najd (now in Saudi Arabia).
 Lincoln Ellsworh  United States  1925-1939 ad  Explored Arctic regions by airplane, dirigible, and submarine, and crossed Antarctica by airplane.
 Umberto Nobile  Italy  1926 ad  Flew across North Pole with Amundsen and Ellsworth in the dirigible Norge, which he had designed.
 Robert Evelyn Byrd  United States  1926-1957 ad  Flew over North and South poles; established base at Little America in Antarctic Circle; led numerous expeditions that explored and mapped coastal and interior regions of Antarctica.
 Bertram Thomas  England  1930-1931 ad  First European to traverse Rub’ al Khali, great desert of Saudi Arabia
 Charles William Beebe  United States  1934 ad  Descended to record ocean depth of 923 m (3,028 ft) in waters of Bermuda, using a bathysphere that he invented.
 John Rymill  England  1934-1937 ad  Explored Antarctic Peninsula.
 Finn Ronne  United States  1946-1958 ad  Determined Antarctica to be one continent; explored and mapped Ronne Ice Shelf.
 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Vivian Fuchs  New Zealand  1955-1958 ad  Made first completely overland crossing of Antarctica.
   England    
 International Geophysical Year (IGY)    1957-1958 ad  Scientists of many countries made discoveries concerning climatology, oceanography, the nature of Earth’s crust, the geography of Antarctica, and other matters.
 Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh  Switzerland  1960 ad  Descended to record depth of 10,915 m (35,810 ft) in Mariana Trench of Pacific Ocean, using the bathyscaph Trieste.
   United States    
 Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.  United States  1969 ad  First persons to land on the moon.
 Naomi Uemura  Japan  1978 ad  First person to reach North Pole alone by dogsled.
 Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton  England  1979-1982 ad  First to cross both the North Pole and the South Pole on a single circumnavigation of Earth.

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