September 6, 1522: Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigates the earth
Ferdinand Magellan raised some heavy eyebrows when he announced plans to travel around the world. On September 20, 1519, he set sail for one insane adventure. After three years away, his expedition returned to Spain but with some noticeable changes.
Magellan’s last stand
Upon landing in Cebu in April 1521, Magellan helped the natives convert to Christianity. Things were going fine until he discovered certain people in Mactan shunned his conversion. Magellan went to battle against those opposers and their leader Lapu-Lapu on April 27, 1521. While Magellan was ready for war, he didn’t stop to think about his army. He only had 49 available men ready to throw down. With some help from the natives, that number grew to around 350. Unfortunately, Lapu-Lapu overpowered him with a 1,500 man army. Magellan would perish in battle along with several of his warriors.
Another horrible attack
Without Magellan around, a new leader had to be chosen. Magellan’s brother-in-law Duarte Barbosa and Juan Serrano were both chosen as co-captains. Days after Magellan’s death, the crew were struck with another major blow. On May 1, 1521, Barbosa and 27 other men were killed in a surprise attack. Serrano was captured, which led to many believing he also met his maker. Joao Carvalho took over the role as leader following the incident.
I’m coming home
Following the leader change, the expedition set sail for various small islands before heading home. Throughout the rest of the journey, several crew members died and one ship was completely wrecked. On September 6, 1522, the remaining crew returned to Spain to conclude their journey around the world. While Magellan wasn’t with them, his legacy lives on today. “He was a pioneer at a time when explorers who went off into the unknown had a strong habit of not coming back,” filmmaker Fabien Cousteau told The Jakarta Post.