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Explorers

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Geography, Traveling

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas.

Geography, Traveling, Wars and warfare

Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton and his Anglo-Irish family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition 1901–1904, from which he was sent home early on health grounds, after he and his companions Scott and Edward Adrian Wilson set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S.

Art, Geography, Traveling, Politics

Marco Polo

Marco Polo was an Italian merchant, explorer, and writer, born in the Republic of Venice. His travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde, a book that described to Europeans the wealth and great size of China, its capital Peking, and other Asian cities and countries.

Geography, Traveling

James Cook

Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Geography, Traveling

Ed Stafford

Edward James Stafford FRSGS, known as Ed Stafford, is an English explorer. He holds the Guinness World Record for being the first human ever to walk the length of the Amazon River. Stafford now hosts shows on Discovery Channel.

Geography, Traveling, Wars and warfare

Lagertha

Lagertha was, according to legend, a Viking shieldmaiden and ruler from what is now Norway, and the onetime wife of the famous Viking Ragnar Lodbrok. Her tale, as recorded by the chronicler Saxo in the 12th century, may be a reflection of tales about Thorgerd, a Norse deity.

Geography, Traveling

Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano.

Geography, Traveling

Hugh Glass

Hugh Glass was an American frontiersman, fur trapper, trader, hunter, and explorer. He is best known for his story of survival and retribution, after being left for dead by companions when he was mauled by a grizzly bear.

Geography, Traveling, Politics, Wars and warfare

Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, naval officer and explorer of the Elizabethan era. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, he claimed what is now California for the English and inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by western shipping.

Geography, Traveling

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India (1497–1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient.

Geography, Traveling

Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer. Born in the Republic of Florence, he became a naturalized citizen of the Crown of Castile in 1505.

Art, Geography, Traveling, Politics, Wars and warfare

Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was an English landed gentleman, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy and explorer. He was cousin to Sir Richard Grenville and younger half-brother of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England.

Geography, Traveling

Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson

Flóki Vilgerðarson was the first Norseman to deliberately sail to Iceland. His story is documented in the Landnámabók manuscript; however, the precise year of his arrival is not clear. He settled in this new land then known as Garðarshólmi.

Geography, Traveling, Politics

Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary OSN was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt.

Geography, Traveling

Chris McCandless

Christopher Johnson McCandless was an American hiker and itinerant traveler, who also went by the name "Alexander Supertramp". After graduating from college in 1990, McCandless traveled across the North American continent and eventually hitchhiked to Alaska in April 1992. There, he set out along an old mining road known as the Stampede Trail, with minimal supplies, hoping to live simply off the land. In September, McCandless' decomposing body, weighing only 30 kilograms, was found by a hunter in a converted bus, Fairbanks Bus 142, used as a backcountry shelter along the Stampede Trail, on the eastern bank of the Sushana River. His cause of death was officially ruled to be starvation, although the exact cause remains the subject of some debate.