Age of Discovery factsExplorers quiz
Which large river flows through Rio de Janeiro? ("rio" is Portuguese for "river")
None. The Portuguese were the Europeans who encountered Guanabara Bay on January 1,1502. They took it for a large river, which they named "Rio de Janeiro" ("January River"). Later it was discovered, that the presumed river was in fact a gulf, but the name remained.
Who was the first European navigator to reach Australia?
Willem Janszoon. Janszoon reached the Gulf of Carpentaira (north of Australia) and made a landfall in 1606. However, he found the land swampy and the people inhospitable. He called the land he had discovered “Nieu Zeland” after the Dutch province of Zeeland, but the name was not adopted and was later used by Abel Tasman for New Zealand.
Which navigator carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition?
Francis Drake. In 1577, half a century after Magellan's expedition, Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth with five ships and 164 men. During his expedition, he captured several Portuguese and Spanish Ships (including treasury ship with 36 kg of gold) and sacked Valparaiso. After his return, the Queen's half-share of the cargo surpassed the rest of the crown's income for that entire year.
Who was the first European navigator to reach South Africa?
Bartolomeu Dias. During his expedition in 1487-1488, Bartolomeu Dias reached the tip of South Africa. Dias wanted to continue sailing to India, but he was forced to turn back when his crew refused to go further. After returning to Lisbon, Dias helped in the construction of the ships that were used by Vasco da Gama to eventually reach India ten years later.
Who was the first European navigator to reach India?
Vasco da Gama. The sum of the distances covered in the outward and return voyages made this expedition the longest ocean voyage ever made until then, longer than the circumference of the Earth.
Who was the first European navigator to reach Brazil?
Pedro Álvares Cabral. On 15 February 1500, Cabral was appointed a commander of a fleet sailing for India. The fleet crossed the Equator on 9 April, and sailed westward as far as possible from the African continent in what was known as the Volta do mar (literally "turn of the sea") navigational technique. They landed in a land they took for an unknown island and named Ilha de Vera Cruz (Island of the True Cross), which in fact was Brazil.