Humans are curious by nature. Since ancient times, the human race has always been in search of new horizons, new continents and new ways to analyze and interpret the
10. Discovery of the Rosetta Stone by Napoleon’s Army
Wars and military campaigns are not usually associated with the discovery of ancient relics. However during Napoleon’s siege of Egypt in 1799, a search for artifacts and historical objects led to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. This stone was one of the most amazing things that were discovered by ancient explorers. One of his soldiers Pierre Bouchard found the stone. Written in ancient greek by priests honoring the king of Egypt, the writings on the stone was one of the major archeological breakthroughs of the modern era. It was instrumental in understanding and deciphering the hieroglyphics, and understanding of the society of ancient Egypt.
9. Discovery of the North Pole
In terms of geographical discovery, after the proof of the existence of the two poles, the next logical step was to travel to these imaginary points at the top and bottom of the earth.
The discovery of the North Pole is shrouded in controversy, Robert, E. Peary, claimed the discovery for himself in April 1909. Shortly after his claim, Thomas Cook claimed to have reached the pole in 1908 already. Neither of the claims have been proved or disproved over the years. Even if they didn’t reach the pole, both were remarkable men, living the spirit of adventure and discovery.
8. Discovery of the South Pole
The discovery of the other extremity of the globe was slightly less controversial, but not less dramatic. In the early years of the 20th century, there was a raging rivalry between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen reached the pole first in December 1911. Scott reached the pole 34 days after him, but tragically he and his party perished on the journey back.
7. Lewis and Clark and the Expedition to the West
Two true adventurers and explorers. President Thomas Jefferson recruited these two for a journey that would amaze the world. In their quest to find a waterway across America to the West they managed to identify more than 300 previously unknown species of animals and birds. They also made contact with the Indian tribes of the interior of America and were the first Europeans to reach the rocky mountains.
6. Christopher Columbus and the Expedition to America
When Cristopher Columbus left Spain in August 1942, he had one mission. To reach Asia by sailing west. But as we all know, what he found was something far greater and influential. He was the first European of the modern age to set foot on what is today known as the Americas. His first stop was in the modern day Bahamas. During his later voyages, he also landed on various islands in the Carribean, including Cuba and Haiti.
His journey of exploration and discovery led to what is today one of the most travelled sea routes in the world. Finding America is argued to be the most amazing things that were discovered by ancient explorers because it led to a big change in the world.
5. Marco Polo Long Travels
Marco Polo was a passionate adventurer who only dreamt of exploring new places and travelling around the world. Soon enough his dreams became true. Marco traveled around the whole Europe and through Asia arriving at Beijing. He was one of the first Europeans to ever reach China. After his 3 year trip to China, Marco brought many amazing things he discovered in China back to Europe.
4. Willem Janszoon and Thomas Cook and the discovery of Australia
In the history books, Thomas Cook is credited with the first expedition to Australia in 1770. A fact which is often overlooked is the first encounter with the Australian coast by a Dutch seafarer in 1606. While on a trading mission to the Indonesian Islands Willem Janszoon made landfall on the Australian continent, the first documented European to have done so. It wasn’t until 160 years later that Cook’s expedition would explore this wild and uncharted land.
3. Jacques Cousteau and The Exploration of The Ocean
The way the world looks at the oceans have forever been altered by the expeditions and discoveries of this true explorer and adventurer. Without the passion and determination of this modern-day maverick, we would not have the underwater breathing afforded to us by the SCUBA system. He was also the person who really highlighted the damage we are doing to our oceans through pollution and overfishing. A true pioneer and adventurer.
2. The Discovery of Lake Victoria
Many historians credit the discovery of Lake Victoria to John Hanning Speke in 1858. There is however documented proof that Arab traders had visited the lake as early as 1160 AD.
Speke is however credited with the discovery of this great body of water in the jungles of Africa as the source of the Nile River.
1. Ferdinand Magellan and the First Circumnavigation of the Earth
Even though Ferdinand Magellan didn’t survive the first circumnavigation of the globe by ship, he was instrumental in this great journey. He led the expedition of 5 ships from Spain in 1519. The journey lasted for more than 3 years and was marred by various mutinies and desertions along the way. This led to three of the ships turning back in 1520. This did not stop him in his quest and his perseverance paid off when he was the first European to navigate the Strait of Magellan in November and enter what is today known as the Pacific Ocean.
Magellan died before finishing the journey and the last remaining vessel of the journey, The Victoria, returned to Spain in September 1522 under the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano.