Ferdinand Magellan Juan Ponce de Leon

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Ferdinand Magellan Juan Ponce de Leon

The Spanish had no idea how big the world was until Magellan’s voyage. Magellan and his crew left Spain in 1519. The goal of the expedition was to prove that Columbus was right (Asia could be reached by sailing west). Magellan crossed the Atlantic Ocean, headed south along the coast of South America and reached the Pacific Ocean. Magellan and his crew sailed for 4 1/2 months until they reached the Philippines. Magellan was involved in a war and was killed. Magellan’s crew continued the voyage to India and then returned to Spain. Magellan is credited as the first explorer to circumnavigate (completely sail around) the world. However, the route is way to long to be useful to the Spanish.

Juan Ponce de Leon traveled through parts of Florida in 1513, looking for a legendary Fountain of Youth. Ponce de Leon had heard many stories from Native Americans as part of a fountain that had magical water. All those who bathed in it would remain young forever. Although Ponce de Leon never found the Fountain of Youth, he is credited for discovering Florida for Spain.

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