Magellan Strait


Strait between Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia, charted in 1520 by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was looking for a southwestern passage to Asia on an expedition initiated by the Spanish crown. After its discovery, Tierra del Fuego was reckoned to be part of a great southern continent, so that the Magellan Strait was considered the only passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 1616, a Dutch expedition under Schouten and Le Maire would sail south of Tierra del Fuego, thus disproving this notion.