September 28, 2022

7 world famous explorers and their scientific discoveries

Throughout history, humans have sought to know the world and its workings. Some of us are filled with the desire to explore distant cultures, while others prefer to travel uncharted paths and conquer the elements. At different times, these great explorers have traveled the land, the sea, the air and even space in their quest to broaden our horizons. Learn more about their tribulations and triumphs below.

1. Ibn Battuta (1304-1369)

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In 1325, at only 21 years old, Ibn Battuta put on the Hajj, a pilgrimage made by Muslims, from his native Morocco to Mecca. Thus began a 75,000 mile journey that would take him through the Islamic world and beyond, over a period of two decades. Battuta crossed Syria, then Turkey, along the eastern coast of Africa to India, and finally reached Indonesia and China.

Once his travels are over, he dictates from memory the stories of his adventures in a travel diary called rihla. This describes the many places, peoples and cultures he encountered. There is debate as to whether Battuta actually visited all the places he claimed, but his trip and travelogue nonetheless exist as an important source of information about the 14th century world.

2. Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)

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Although the name of Christopher Columbus is perhaps more famous, Amerigo Vespucci is the explorer who lent his name to the Americas. The Italian merchant sailed to South America about seven years after Christopher Columbus and is credited with recognizing that the land mass was actually a new continent – is not part of the “Indies”.

Born in Florence in 1454, Vespucci was an enterprising businessman who was also passionate about maps. His continental discovery began shaping world maps soon after: the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller is credited with designing the first map of America in 1507, named after Amerigo Vespucci, a man of “sharp character”.

3.James Cook (1728–1779)

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In 1768, after serving in the British Navy for several years, James Cook took command of a scientific expedition at the age of 40. Effort, Cook, whose family was originally from Scotland, sought to reach the hypothetical land of Terra Australis. Departing from Tahiti, her crew first sighted and mapped New Zealand. When they continued east they came to the Australian coast.

Scientists on board Effort collected hundreds of plant and animal species hitherto unknown in Europe, gaining notoriety for their discoveries. Later explorations included a second circumnavigation and the discovery of the islands of New Caledonia and South Georgia. On his last voyage in 1776, Cook died fighting islanders on a Hawaiian beach.

Renowned for his success, Cook’s expeditions set a trend for scientists traveling aboard warships. He was also acclaimed for lose no man to scurvya common problem for maritime explorers at the time.

4. Alexander of Humboldt (1769-1859)

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Born Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, this German naturalist and geographer is endowed with multiple talents as well as an extended name. After spending his youth working in the mining industry and nurturing a keen interest in collecting plants, von Humboldt sailed for South America in 1799. He partnered with Aimé Bonpland, a French botanist , and has covered more than 6,000 miles in five years. – explore vast expanses of rainforest and climb numerous mountains and volcanoes.

Among his many scientific achievements, he is believed to be the first to attribute altitude sickness to a lack of oxygenthe first to discover the location of the magnetic equator and also the first to describe how human action impacts local ecosystems and climate. No wonder South America Humboldt current bears his name or that several hundred species bear his name.

5.Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)

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From an early age Norwegian Roald Amundsen was an adventurer, setting sail at the age of 15. Although he initially envisioned a trip to the North Pole, the fact that American explorer Robert Peary had already achieved this feat caused Amundsen to change. his projects. Instead, he set off for the South Pole, keeping his plans a secret for some time. “If at that time I had made my intention public, it would only have given rise to numerous discussions in the newspapers, and would perhaps have resulted in the suffocation of the project at its birth”, a- he declared. wrotemotivated in part by his heavy debts.

In December 1911, Amundsen and his team of four traveled across Antarctica and eventually reached the South Pole, beating the British Navy Officer Robert Falcon Scott directing. Sadly, Amundsen disappeared in 1928 when he embarked on a mission to rescue missing members of an airship that had flown to the North Pole.

6. Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)

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Few names are as closely linked to the ocean as that of Jacques Cousteau and his ship, Calypso. After being the victim of a car accident which broke both his arms, the French navy pilot fell in love with the sea and apnea during his rehabilitation. Later, he advanced the exploration of the oceans and deep seas by developing diving equipment, the Scuba diving suit, underwater cameras and other instruments. During the decades spent on the high seas with his crew, dubbed the “Musketeers of the Sea,” Cousteau shot movies. These have brought the wonders of the oceans and the life beneath them to screens around the world.

7. Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968)

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On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to venture into space. Amid the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States, the Russian cosmonaut’s flight around the globe aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft lasted just under two hours. Gagarin, endowed with exceptional physical qualities and mental strength, was also selected partly because of his short stature. He died only seven years after this achievement, in 1968, when he went dpossess in a training flight — narrowly missing the chance to see American astronauts (including Neil Armstrong) touch the surface of the moon.