Magellan never sailed around the world

Today marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Ferdinand Magellan, who died in battle before he could complete the world’s first circumnavigation.

Though he captained the first European expedition through the strait between South America and Antartica that now bears his name, the Portuguese explorer never returned to Europe. Despite crossing the Pacific and reaching what is now the Philippines, Magellan was killed on April 27, 1521, by Mactan islanders after attempting to force their conversion to Christianity.

His remaining crew members, under the command of Juan Sabastian Elcano, pressed forward and finally returned to the Iberian peninsula on Sept 8, 1522, finishing the voyage Magellan started over three years earlier.