Did you know that in 1520, during his voyage to circumnavigate the globe, Ferdinand Magellan discovered and started exploring a strait in the southern-most part of South America? A strait is a narrow, naturally formed, waterway that connects two bodies of water. Ferdinand Magellan named the strait the “Strait of All Saints” because he discovered it on November 1st, All Saint’s Day. Later, it was renamed the Strait of Magellan. It is about 350 miles long and varies between 2 and 20 miles wide. Until the Panama Canal was built, the Strait of Magellan was an important route for ships that connected the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
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The Strait of Magellan separates the mainland from Tierra del Fuego.
King Charles renamed the Strait of All Saints to the Strait of Magellan in Magellan’s honor.
It took Ferdinand Magellan about 38 days to travel through the Strait.
Drakes Passage was another southern route between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. However, this route frequently experienced gale winds, rough seas, and icebergs. While the Strait of Magellan was winding and difficult to navigate, it was a shorter and more sheltered route.