famous explorers

Famous Explorers 🏔️🏜️

List of Famous Explorers of the World 🏔️🏜️

As Roald Amundsen, the first of the famous explorers in this list said “Adventure is just bad planning” – whether you agree or disagree with his sentiment, the human urge to explore the unknown has been a constant theme throughout history and this list celebrates their achievements.

  • ADDucation’s list of famous adventurers and explorers was compiled by Robert Junker and last updated Nov 7, 2022 @ 12:23 pm.

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Names of Famous explorers Born Died Discovery / Exploration When Famous explorers names and their discoveries🧭
Amundsen, Roald 1872 1928 South Pole. 1911 The Norwegian Roald Amundsen won the race against his British rival Robert Scott and became the first person to reach the South Pole on December 14, 1911. Before that, he was the first seaman to navigate the Northwest Passage from 1903 to 1906.
Armstrong, Neil 1930 2012 First man to walk on the moon. 21st July 1969 Neil Armstrong’s famous line “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” as he stepped off the ladder of Apollo 11 onto the surface of the moon is also a famous moment in TV history. He was followed by crew mate Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, which has become one of the most popular pub quiz questions!
Columbus, Christopher 1451 1506 America and the Caribbean. 1492-1494 Christopher Columbus set off with three ships (Santa Maria, Niña and Pinta) to look for an easier route to India. After 36 days he landed by accident in the Caribbean on the island of San Salvador. One of the most famous Italian explorers.
Cook, James 1728 1779 Pacific countries. 1768-1778 James Cook, one of the most famous English explorers, sailed the Pacific ocean extensively with three voyages  from the Atlantic coast to the Bering Strait. In 1779, the famous British sailor was stabbed by natives in Hawaii and along with four other marines they died of their wounds.
Darwin, Charles 1809 1882 Theory of evolution. 1831-1836 During his five-year expedition on the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin, the famous English geologist and researcher collected many fossils and examined live animals. Back in England (1836) he found an explanation for the change of species (evolution theory) and wrote “On the origin of species”.
Eriksson, Leif 975 1020 North America. 1000 Famous Viking and Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson lived in Greenland and was probably the first European to set foot on the North American coast around the year 1000.
Gama, Vasco de 1469 1524 Sea route to India. 1497-1499 Vasco de Gama sailed his flagship São Gabriel and two escort ships (São Rafael and Berrio), around the Cape of Good Hope to India in 1499 and came back to Lisbon fully loaded with spices. One of the most famous Portuguese explorers.
Humboldt, Alexander von 1769 1859 Latin and South America. 1799-1804 For 5 years, Alexander von Humboldt, the famous German adventurer and researcher collected information about the flora and fauna of the Caribbean and Latin and South America together with French botanist Aime Bonpland. Once home in Berlin these famous explorers wrote around 29 books about their finds.
Livingstone, David 1813 1873 Africa 1849-1873 David Livingston, the Scottish doctor and missionary, discovered the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River and several lakes in the heart of Africa. He criticized the slave trade and died in 1873 in search of the sources of the Nile.
Magellan, Ferdinand 1480 1521 First world circumnavigation. 1519-1522 Famous Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, was the the first man to sail around Cape Horn, but died before completing his trip around the world by natives in the Philippines. Juan Elcano took over the expedition and brought back the last of five ships with 18 survivors.
Peary, Robert 1856 1920 Arctic 1909 The Arctic researcher, Robert Perry, claimed (like Frederick Cook one year earlier) to have been the first man to the North Pole. Today it is thought unlikely that he ever reached the North Pole on account of his limited supplies and rapid walking times.
Polo, Marco 1254 1324 Asia 1271-1295 The Italian merchant from Venice, Marco Polo, is said to have traveled throughout Asia and cultivated contacts with China. He (allegedly) spent 24 years at the court of the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan. Today, scientists doubt that Marco Polo was ever in China because his detailed reports omitted to mention important things like Chinese characters, porcelain or gunpowder.
Slocum, Joshua 1844 1909 Solo world circumnavigation. 1895-1898 Famous Canadian explorer Joshua Slocum, aboard his converted oyster boat Spray, the Canadian-born single-handed sailor from Boston sailed alone around the Earth. After more than 3 years and 45,000 km, he arrived back safely and wrote the bestseller “Sailing Alone Around the World”.
Tasman, Abel 1603 1659 New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji. 1642-1643 Famous Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, discovered Tasmania, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand (1642), but was attacked by the Maori and therefore decided against shore excursions and land acquisition.
Vespucci, Amerigo 1451 1512 Mexico, South America. 1499-1504 Amerigo Vespucci was a navigator with Christopher Columbus. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller named the new continents after his first name: America.
Zhèng Hé 1371 1435 Pacific, Indian Ocean, Africa. 1405-1433 Zhèng Hé, the Chinese Admiral (who was originally a Muslim), was put in charge of a huge fleet by Emperor Yongle and made seven voyages in under than 30 years. The adventures he experienced during his travels probably served as a model for the Arabian saga “Sinbad the Sailor”.

See also: Famous Inventions…

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