Myths About Explorers   world

Most people think . . .

. . .Christopher Columbus discovered America.

In fact, the Vikings, led by Leif Ericson, were the first Europeans to land on the coast of North America in the year 1000. Christopher Columbus landed on the island of San Salvador in 1492, thinking he had reached the East Indies.

. . .Ferdinand Magellan was the first to sail around the world.

In fact, he was dead before the voyage was over. Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519 with five ships and 270 men and was killed in a fight with the natives of Macatan Island in the Pacific Ocean in 1521. In 1522, one of his ships, with 18 original crewmen, completed the journey.

. . .Phineas Fogg traveled around the world in 80 days.

In fact, he was an imaginary character in a Jules Verne novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. Nellie Bly, an American journalist, accepted a challenge to go around the world in fewer than 80 days. In 1889, she made the journey in 72 days.

. . .Charles Lindbergh was the first to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

In fact, he was the first to fly solo (alone) across the Atlantic in 1927. The first nonstop flight across the Atlantic was made by Alcock and Brown, two British aviators, in 1919.

 

Explorations

Country or place

Event

Explorer

Date

AFRICA

Sierra Leone

Explored

Hanno, Carthaginian seaman

c. 520B.C.

Zaire River (Congo)

Mouth visited1

Diogo Cão, Portuguese explorer

c. 1484

Cape of Good Hope

Rounded

Bartolomeu Diaz, Portuguese explorer

1488

Gambia River

Explored

Mungo Park, Scottish explorer

1795

Sahara

Crossed

Dixon Denham and Hugh Clapperton, 
English explorers

1822–1823

Zambezi River

Explored1

David Livingstone, Scottish explorer

1851

Sudan

Explored

Heinrich Barth, German explorer

1852–1855

Victoria Falls

Explored1

David Livingstone, Scottish explorer

1855

Lake Tanganyika

Explored1

Richard Burton and John Speke, British explorers

1858

Lake Victoria, identified as the source of the Nile

Explored

John Speke, British explorer

1858

Zaire River (Congo)

Traced

Sir Henry M. Stanley, British explorer

1877

ASIA

Punjab (India)

Invaded

Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia

327B.C.

China

Explored

Marco Polo, Italian traveler

c. 1272

Tibet

Visited

Odoric of Pordenone, Italian monk

c. 1325

Southern China

Explored

Niccolò dei Conti, Venetian traveler

c. 1440

India

Explored (Cape route)

Vasco da Gama, Portuguese navigator

1498

Japan

Visited

St. Francis Xavier of Spain, missionary

1549

Arabia

Explored

Carsten Niebuhr, German explorer

1762

China

Explored

Ferdinand Richthofen, German scientist

1868

Mongolia

Explored

Nikolai M. Przhevalsky, Russian explorer

1870–1873

Central Asia

Explored

Sven Hedin, Swedish scientist

1890–1908

EUROPE

Shetland Islands

Visited

Pytheas of Massilia (Marseille), Greek navigator 
and geographer

c. 325B.C.

North Cape

Rounded

Ottar, Norwegian explorer

c. 870

Iceland

Colonized

Norwegian noblemen

c. 890–900

NORTH AMERICA

Greenland

Colonized

Eric the Red, Norwegian

c. 985

Labrador, Newfoundland,
Nova Scotia (?)

Explored1

Leif Ericsson, Norse explorer

1000

West Indies

Explored1

Christopher Columbus, Italian

1492

North America

Coast explored1

Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), for British

1497

Pacific Ocean

Sighted1

Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer

1513

Florida

Explored

Ponce de León, Spanish explorer

1513

Mexico

Conquered

Hernando Cortés, Spanish adventurer

1519–1521

St. Lawrence River

Explored1

Jacques Cartier, French navigator

1534

Southwest United States

Explored

Francisco Coronado, Spanish explorer

1540–1542

Colorado River

Explored1

Hernando de Alarcón, Spanish explorer

1540

Mississippi River

Explored1

Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer

1541

Frobisher Bay

Explored1

Martin Frobisher, English seaman

1576

Maine Coast

Explored

Samuel de Champlain, French explorer

1604

Jamestown, Va.

Settled

John Smith, English colonist

1607

Hudson River

Explored

Henry Hudson, English navigator

1609

Hudson Bay (Canada)

Explored1

Henry Hudson

1610

Baffin Bay

Explored1

William Baffin, English navigator

1616

Lake Michigan

Navigated

Jean Nicolet, French explorer

1634

Arkansas River

Explored1

Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet
French explorers

1673

Mississippi River

Explored

Sieur de La Salle, French explorer

1682

Bering Strait

Explored1

Vitus Bering, Danish explorer

1728

Alaska

Explored1

Vitus Bering

1741

Mackenzie River 
(Canada)

Explored1

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Scottish-
Canadian explorer

1789

Northwest United States

Explored

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
American explorers

1804–1806

Northeast Passage 
(Arctic Ocean)

Navigated

Nils Nordenskjöld, Swedish explorer

1879

Greenland

Explored

Robert E. Peary, American explorer

1892

Northwest Passage

Navigated

Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer

1906

SOUTH AMERICA

Continent

Explored

Christopher Columbus, Italian

1498

Brazil

Explored1

Pedro Alvarez Cabral, Portuguese

1500

Peru

Conquered

Francisco Pizarro, Spanish explorer

1532–1533

Amazon River

Explored

Francisco Orellana, Spanish explorer

1541

Cape Horn

Explored1

Willem C. Schouten, Dutch navigator

1615

OCEANIA

Papua New Guinea

Explored

Jorge de Menezes, Portuguese explorer

1526

Australia

Explored

Abel Janszoon Tasman, Dutch navigator

1642

Tasmania

Explored1

Abel Janszoon Tasman

1642

Australia

Crossed

John McDouall Stuart, English explorer

1862

Australia

Explored

Robert Burke and William Wills, 
Australian explorers

1861

New Zealand

Sighted (and named)

Abel Janszoon Tasman, Dutch navigator

1642

New Zealand

Explored

James Cook, English navigator

1769

ARCTIC, ANTARCTIC,
AND MISCELLANEOUS

Africa, Middle East, Asia, 
and Europe

Explored

Ibn Batuta, greatest Arab traveler

1325–1349

Ocean exploration

Expedition

Ferdinand Magellan's ships circled globe for Spain

1519–1522

Galápagos Islands

Explored

Diego de Rivadeneira, Spanish captain

1535

Spitsbergen

Explored

Willem Barents, Dutch navigator

1596

Antarctic Circle

Crossed

James Cook, English navigator

1773

Antarctica

Explored1

Nathaniel Palmer, American whaler (archipelago), and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen
Russian admiral (mainland)

1820–1821

Antarctica

Explored

Charles Wilkes, American explorer

1840

North Pole

Reached2

Robert E. Peary, American explorer

1909

South Pole

Reached

Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer

1911

 

 

Latitude and Longitude of World Cities

(and time corresponding to 12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time)

See also Latitude and Longitude of U.S. and Canadian Cities.

 

Latitude

Longitude

 

City

°

'

°

'

Time

Aberdeen, Scotland

57

9 N

2

9 W

5:00 p.m.

Adelaide, Australia

34

55 S

138

36 E

2:30 a.m.1

Algiers, Algeria

36

50 N

3

0 E

6:00 p.m.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

52

22 N

4

53 E

6:00 p.m.

Ankara, Turkey

39

55 N

32

55 E

7:00 p.m.

Asunción, Paraguay

25

15 S

57

40 W

1:00 p.m.

Athens, Greece

37

58 N

23

43 E

7:00 p.m.

Auckland, New Zealand

36

52 S

174

45 E

5:00 a.m.1

Bangkok, Thailand

13

45 N

100

30 E

midnight

Barcelona, Spain

41

23 N

2

9 E

6:00 p.m.

Beijing, China

39

55 N

116

25 E

1:00 a.m.1

Belém, Brazil

1

28 S

48

29 W

2:00 p.m.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

54

37 N

5

56 W

5:00 p.m.

Belgrade, Yugoslavia

44

52 N

20

32 E

6:00 p.m.

Berlin, Germany

52

30 N

13

25 E

6:00 p.m.

Birmingham, England

52

25 N

1

55 W

5:00 p.m.

Bogotá, Colombia

4

32 N

74

15 W

12:00 noon

Bombay, India

19

0 N

72

48 E

10:30 p.m.

Bordeaux, France

44

50 N

0

31 W

6:00 p.m.

Bremen, Germany

53

5 N

8

49 E

6:00 p.m.

Brisbane, Australia

27

29 S

153

8 E

3:00 a.m.1

Bristol, England

51

28 N

2

35 W

5:00 p.m.

Brussels, Belgium

50

52 N

4

22 E

6:00 p.m.

Bucharest, Romania

44

25 N

26

7 E

7:00 p.m.

Budapest, Hungary

47

30 N

19

5 E

6:00 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

34

35 S

58

22 W

2:00 p.m.

Cairo, Egypt

30

2 N

31

21 E

7:00 p.m.

Calcutta, India

22

34 N

88

24 E

10:30 p.m.

Canton, China

23

7 N

113

15 E

1:00 a.m.1

Cape Town, South Africa

33

55 S

18

22 E

7:00 p.m.

Caracas, Venezuela

10

28 N

67

2 W

1:00 p.m.

Cayenne, French Guiana

4

49 N

52

18 W

1:00 p.m.

Chihuahua, Mexico

28

37 N

106

5 W

11:00 a.m.

Chongqing, China

29

46 N

106

34 E

1:00 a.m.1

Copenhagen, Denmark

55

40 N

12

34 E

6:00 p.m.

Córdoba, Argentina

31

28 S

64

10 W

2:00 p.m.

Dakar, Senegal

14

40 N

17

28 W

5:00 p.m.

Darwin, Australia

12

28 S

130

51 E

2:30 a.m.1

Djibouti, Djibouti

11

30 N

43

3 E

8:00 p.m.

Dublin, Ireland

53

20 N

6

15 W

5:00 p.m.

Durban, South Africa

29

53 S

30

53 E

7:00 p.m.

Edinburgh, Scotland

55

55 N

3

10 W

5:00 p.m.

Frankfurt, Germany

50

7 N

8

41 E

6:00 p.m.

Georgetown, Guyana

6

45 N

58

15 W

1:15 p.m.

Glasgow, Scotland

55

50 N

4

15 W

5:00 p.m.

Guatemala City, Guatemala

14

37 N

90

31 W

11:00 a.m.

Guayaquil, Ecuador

2

10 S

79

56 W

12:00 noon

Hamburg, Germany

53

33 N

10

2 E

6:00 p.m.

Hammerfest, Norway

70

38 N

23

38 E

6:00 p.m.

Havana, Cuba

23

8 N

82

23 W

12:00 noon

Helsinki, Finland

60

10 N

25

0 E

7:00 p.m.

Hobart, Tasmania

42

52 S

147

19 E

3:00 a.m.1

Iquique, Chile

20

10 S

70

7 W

1:00 p.m.

Irkutsk, Russia

52

30 N

104

20 E

1:00 a.m.

Jakarta, Indonesia

6

16 S

106

48 E

0:30 a.m.1

Johannesburg, South Africa

26

12 S

28

4 E

7:00 p.m.

Kingston, Jamaica

17

59 N

76

49 W

12:00 noon

Kinshasa, Congo

4

18 S

15

17 E

6:00 p.m.

La Paz, Bolivia

16

27 S

68

22 W

1:00 p.m.

Leeds, England

53

45 N

1

30 W

5:00 p.m.

Lima, Peru

12

0 S

77

2 W

12:00 noon

Lisbon, Portugal

38

44 N

9

9 W

5:00 p.m.

Liverpool, England

53

25 N

3

0 W

5:00 p.m.

London, England

51

32 N

0

5 W

5:00 p.m.

Lyons, France

45

45 N

4

50 E

6:00 p.m.

Madrid, Spain

40

26 N

3

42 W

6:00 p.m.

Manchester, England

53

30 N

2

15 W

5:00 p.m.

Manila, Philippines

14

35 N

120

57 E

1:00 a.m.1

Marseilles, France

43

20 N

5

20 E

6:00 p.m.

Mazatlán, Mexico

23

12 N

106

25 W

10:00 a.m.

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

21

29 N

39

45 E

8:00 p.m.

Melbourne, Australia

37

47 S

144

58 E

3:00 a.m.1

Mexico City, Mexico

19

26 N

99

7 W

11:00 a.m.

Milan, Italy

45

27 N

9

10 E

6:00 p.m.

Montevideo, Uruguay

34

53 S

56

10 W

2:00 p.m.

Moscow, Russia

55

45 N

37

36 E

8:00 p.m.

Munich, Germany

48

8 N

11

35 E

6:00 p.m.

Nagasaki, Japan

32

48 N

129

57 E

2:00 a.m.1

Nagoya, Japan

35

7 N

136

56 E

2:00 a.m.1

Nairobi, Kenya

1

25 S

36

55 E

8:00 p.m.

Nanjing (Nanking), China

32

3 N

118

53 E

1:00 a.m.1

Naples, Italy

40

50 N

14

15 E

6:00 p.m.

Newcastle-on-Tyne, England

54

58 N

1

37 W

5:00 p.m.

Odessa, Ukraine

46

27 N

30

48 E

8:00 p.m.

Osaka, Japan

34

32 N

135

30 E

2:00 a.m.1

Oslo, Norway

59

57 N

10

42 E

6:00 p.m.

Panama City, Panama

8

58 N

79

32 W

12:00 noon

Paramaribo, Suriname

5

45 N

55

15 W

1:30 p.m.

Paris, France

48

48 N

2

20 E

6:00 p.m.

Perth, Australia

31

57 S

115

52 E

1:00 a.m.1

Plymouth, England

50

25 N

4

5 W

5:00 p.m.

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

9

25 S

147

8 E

3:00 a.m.1

Prague, Czech Republic

50

5 N

14

26 E

6:00 p.m.

Rangoon, Myanmar

16

50 N

96

0 E

11:30 p.m.

Reykjavík, Iceland

64

4 N

21

58 W

4:00 p.m.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

22

57 S

43

12 W

2:00 p.m.

Rome, Italy

41

54 N

12

27 E

6:00 p.m.

Salvador, Brazil

12

56 S

38

27 W

2:00 p.m.

Santiago, Chile

33

28 S

70

45 W

1:00 p.m.

St. Petersburg, Russia

59

56 N

30

18 E

8:00 p.m.

São Paulo, Brazil

23

31 S

46

31 W

2:00 p.m.

Shanghai, China

31

10 N

121

28 E

1:00 a.m.1