Today, there are few places that have not been explored but this was not always the case. America was unknown to European until little over 500 years ago and Australia was scarcely known by the rest of the world until the late 18th century. In this article, we bring you some of the people who made Europeans aware of the rest of the world.
1. Sir Richard Burton (1821-90)
Son of a British army officer, Sir Burton is best known for exploring Arabia and Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Strictly denying the colonial policies, he served for seven years in India as a captain in the army of “East India Company”. This controversial poet is also credited with translating “One Thousand And One Nights” and publicizing the “Kama Sutra” in English.
2. David Livingstone (1813-73)
Livingstone was a Scottish missionary and explorer of Africa. He discovered and named the Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria. Encourager of commercial empire, Livingstone was born in a Protestant family and his father was very institutionalized to his beliefs.
3. James Cook (1728-79)
British Captain James Cook led several major expeditions. He explored the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, and North America. An epitome in the area of geographical exploration, Captain Crook was killed in 1779 by Hawaiians during his third exploratory navigation.
4. Henry Hudson (1550-1611)
Henry Hudson was an English navigator who searched for a Northwest Passage (a route to the east by traveling north of America) and discovered Hudson’s Bay. He is also credited to discover the area around modern New York City while exploring the route to Asia via west.
5. Abel Tasman (1603-59)
This Dutchman was an aesthetic voyager and is notable for exploring Australia, New Zealand and Van Diemans Land (later called Tasmania). With his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen, Tasman led the exploring expedition towards North Pacific with the object to obtain knowledge of all undiscovered beaches in the world.
6. Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521)
Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who led the first voyage around the world. He discovered the Strait of Magellan, near the tip of South America. He was born in Sabrosa but later adopted the nationality of Spain to serve King Charles I in order to explore the westward route to the Spice Island.
7. Vasco da Gama (1460-1524)
Considered as the greatest hero in the European age of discovery, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama traveled around the Cape of Good Hope and up the East coast of Africa and later discovered a trade route to India. After mastering in the field of mathematics and navigation he became the governor of Portuguese India in 1524.
8. Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
This Genoese colonizer discovered North, Central and South America and the islands of West Indies. It was Columbus who established the string of indigenous Americans and Europeans. As a phenomenon of culture and civilization, Columbus will be always remembered for discovering the “New World”.
9. John Cabot (1450-98)
Italian born explorer John Cabot was employed by British merchants to seek a western route to Asia. During his travels, he discovered parts of the northeast coast of America. He was also sponsored by Great Britain to start an expedition for exploring the Atlantic.
10. Marco Polo (1254-1324)
Italian traveler Marco Polo was one of the first European to visit China and other far eastern territories. However, his reports were not believed but he encouraged the idea of trading with the East. His father and uncle were a merchant which inspired Polo to overcome the deep concepts of appraising, foreign currency and handling cargo ships.