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Famous explorers facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The following is a list of famous explorers. Their common names, countries of origin (modern and former), centuries when they were active and main areas of exploration are listed below.

The landing of Vikings on America
Leif Erikson was a famous Norse explorer who is credited for being the first European to set foot on American soil (c. 1000).
Marco Polo Mosaic from Palazzo Tursi
Marco Polo was an Italian explorer who traveled to the far east and back to his hometown Venice in the matter of 24 years. He is noted for making detailed chronicles of his travels (1271–95).
Zheng He
Zheng He was a Chinese explorer who sailed along the Southeast Asian, South Asian, Western Asian, and East African coasts along with his fleet of incredibly large ships and several hundred men (1405–33).
Diogo Cão
Portugal Diogo Cão is the first European to explore the Congo River and the west coast of Africa, south of the equator (1482–86).
Bartolomeu Dias, South Africa House (cut)
Portugal Bartolomeu Dias is known as the first European to sail around the southernmost tip of Africa, finding the eastern sea route to the Indian Ocean (1488).
Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus
Crown of Castile Christopher Columbus. Famous Italian explorer and possibly the best-known explorer that ever lived. Known for "discovering" America (1492).
Crown of Castile Alonso de Ojeda is noted as the discoverer of South America, as commander of the fleet with Juan de la Cosa and Amerigo Vespucci (1493–1510).
England John Cabot was an Italian navigator who was the first European that sailed along to North American coast since the Norse 500 years prior (1497).
Vasco da Gama - 1838
Portugal Vasco da Gama. Famous Portuguese explorer known for being the first European to sail to India (1497–98).
Portrait of Amerigo Vespucci
SpainPortugal Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci made several trips to the New World. He is known for convincing the Europeans that the New World is not Asia, but an entirely new unknown continent. This new continent was soon named after him, America (1497–1504).
Pedro Alvares Cabral
Portugal Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered the land in what is now Brazil and claimed it for Portugal (1500).
Retrato de Afonso de Albuquerque (após 1545) - Autor desconhecido
Portugal The great conqueror Afonso de Albuquerque raided, captured, and conquered many coastal cities in Asia for the Portuguese Empire. He is also one of the first Europeans to sail to the East Indies and Spice Islands, along with Francisco Serrão and António de Abreu (1503–15).
Juan Ponce de León
Spain Juan Ponce de León was the first Governor of Puerto Rico and discovered Florida in 1513. He is the first known European to set foot on today's continental United States (1508–13).
Retrato de Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (1475-1517) - Anónimo
Spain Vasco Núñez de Balboa is known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European to reach and see the Pacific from the America's (1513).
Retrato de Hernán Cortés
Spain Hernán Cortés. Famous Conquistador who led the Spanish expedition to explore and conquer the Aztec Empire (1519–21).
Ferdinand Magellan
Spain Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led the first circumnavigation of the globe (1519–21).
Las Glorias Nacionales, 1852 "Juan Sebastian Elcano". (4013953698)
Spain Juan Sebastián Elcano took command after Ferdinand's death and completed the voyage, becoming the first person to circumnavigate the earth (1521–22).
Jacques Cartier 1851-1852
Kingdom of France Jacques Cartier was the first European to travel inland in North America and claimed the lands he explored for France (1534).
Gheeraerts Francis Drake 1591
England English privateer Francis Drake plundered many Spanish towns and ships in the Caribbean and elsewhere. However, he is most notable for completing the second circumnavigation of the world (1577–80).
Kingdom of France Samuel de Champlain is known as "The Father of New France". He founded the first permanent European settlements in Canada, and explored many lakes and rivers in the interior lands from early age to his death (1603–35).
Dutch RepublicEngland English explorer Henry Hudson explored what is now New York and northeastern Canada. Today he has both a river and bay named after him (1609–11).
Dutch Republic Abel Tasman is the first known European to sight the islands of Tasmania, New Zealand, and Fiji (1642–43).
Kingdom of Great Britain James Cook. Famous British explorer who led three voyages to the Pacific. He is known for exploring and charting many islands in the ocean such as Polynesia, New Zealand, The Hawaiian Islands, and the eastern coast of Australia (1768–79).
Nlc amundsen
Norway Roald Amundsen was an explorer of the polar regions. He was the first person to reach the South Pole, and eventually also reached the North Pole by air (1910–26).

List of famous explorers

Name Modern (and former) nationality Centuries Main areas explored
Antonio de Abreu Portuguese 16th Indonesia
William Adams English 17th Japan
Diogo Afonso Portuguese 15th Northwest African coast
Estevanico Moroccan 15th North America
Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Scottish 20th Greenland, Elephant Island, Northern Patagonian Icefield, Himalayas
Charles Albanel French 17th Canada
Afonso de Albuquerque Portuguese 16th Asia
Buzz Aldrin American 20th The Moon
Pêro de Alenquer Portuguese 15th/16th Indian Ocean
Alexander the Great Greek (Macedonian) 4th BC Indus River, Hindu Kush
Jean Alfonse (João Afonso) Portuguese-French 15th/16th Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, possibly Australia; Brazil, North America
Benedict Allen English 20th/21st various
Diego de Almagro Spanish 16th Peru, Chile
László Almásy Hungarian 19th/20th Africa
Francisco de Almeida Portuguese 16th India
Lourenço de Almeida Portuguese 16th Sri Lanka, India
Pedro de Alvarado Spanish 16th Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
Francisco Álvares Portuguese 16th Ethiopia
Gonçalo Álvares Portuguese 15th Gough Island, Namibia
Jorge Álvares Portuguese 16th China
Roald Amundsen Norwegian 20th South Pole, Antarctica, Northwest Passage
José Alberto de Oliveira Anchieta Portuguese 19th Gough Island
Charles John Andersson Swedish 19th Southern Africa
António de Andrade Portuguese 16th/17th India, Tibet
Fernão Pires de Andrade Portuguese 16th Ming China
Salomon August Andrée Swedish 19th Arctic
Roy Chapman Andrews American 20th China, Mongolia
Juan Bautista de Anza Spanish 18th California
Moncacht-Apé Yazoo 17th/18th North America
Dominick Arduin French 20th/21st North Pole
Henryk Arctowski Polish 20th Antarctic, South America
Neil Armstrong American 20th The Moon
Ingólfur Arnarson Norse 9th Iceland
Vladimir Arsenyev Russian 20th Far East
Michael Asher English 20th Africa
Pêro de Ataíde Portuguese 16th/17th Indian Ocean
Vasco de Ataíde Portuguese 16th/17th India, Tibet
Vladimir Atlasov Siberian Cossack 17th Kamchatka Peninsula
François Xavier Aubry French Canadian 19th American Southwest
Väinö Auer Finnish 20th Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés Spanish 16th Florida
Juan de Ayala Spanish 18th California
Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón Spanish 16th South Carolina
Diogo de Azambuja Portuguese 15th West African coast
George Back English 19th Canadian Arctic
William Baffin English 17th Northwest Passage
Abu Bakr II Mali Empire 14th Atlantic Ocean, trans-Atlantic (allegedly)
Samuel Baker English 19th Africa
Vasco Núñez de Balboa Spanish 16th Panama, 'discovered' the Pacific Ocean
Robert Ballard American 20th deep sea wrecks, Titanic
Ann Bancroft American 20th/21st Arctic, Antarctic
Joseph Banks English 18th Newfoundland and Labrador, South Pacific
Hong Bao Chinese 15th South Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, East African coast
Giosafat Barbaro Italian 15th Black Sea, Near East
Duarte Barbosa Portuguese 15th/16th Indian Ocean, 1st circumnavigation
Pêro de Barcelos Portuguese 15th/16th North America
Afonso Gonçalves Baldaia Portuguese 15th Western Sahara
Jeanne Baré French 18th/19th Pacific Ocean
Willem Barentsz Dutch 16th Northeast Passage, Novaya Zemlya, Svalbard
Heinrich Barth German 19th Central and northern Africa
Robert Bartlett Newfoundlander 20th Arctic
George Bass English 18th Australia, Tasmania
Henry Walter Bates English 19th Amazon basin
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta Marinid 14th Africa, Central Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Middle East, Russia, Southeast Asia
Nicolas Baudin French 18th Australia
James Beckwourth American 19th Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
William Beebe American 20th deep sea
Pyotr Beketov Russian 17th Siberia
Gertrude Bell English 19th/20th Greater Syria Mesopotamia Asia Minor Arabia
Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen Baltic German 19th Antarctica
Joseph René Bellot French 19th Arctic
Móric Benyovszky Hungarian 18th northern Pacific Ocean
Vitus Bering Danish 18th Northern Pacific Ocean, Bering Strait, Alaska (North America)
Hiram Bingham III American 20th Machu Picchu, Peru
Laura Bingham English 20th/21st South America
Isabella Bird English 19th/20th North America Hawaii Japan Korea China Vietnam Singapore Malaysia India Persia Kurdistan Turkey Morocco
John Blashford-Snell English 20th/21st various
Adriaen Block Dutch 17th East Coast of the United States
Nellie Bly American 19th/20th trip around the world in 72 days
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Benjamin Bonneville American 19th Oregon Country, Great Basin
Daniel Boone American 18th Kentucky, Appalachian Mountains
Vittorio Bottego Italian 19th Somalia
Adam Brand German 17th Russia, China
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza Italian-French 19th Congo
Saint Brendan Irish 6th Atlantic Ocean, Iceland
Jim Bridger American 19th Western United States
James Bruce Scottish 18th Algeria, the Middle East, Egypt
William S. Bruce Scottish 20th Antarctica
Jørgen Brønlund Greenlandic 20th Greenland
Étienne Brûlé French 17th Canada
Bungaree Aboriginal Australian 18th/19th Australian coasts
Lafayette Bunnell American 19th Yosemite Valley
Johann Ludwig Burckhardt Swiss 19th Middle East, Sudan
Robert O'Hara Burke Irish 19th Australia
Frederick Russell Burnham American 19th/20th Africa, Mexico
Richard Francis Burton English 19th East Africa
Thomas Button Welsh 17th Northwest Passage
José de Bustamante y Guerra Spanish 18th Pacific Ocean
Richard E. Byrd American 20th North Pole, Antarctica
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca Spanish 16th Southwestern United States, Mexico, Argentina
John Cabot Italian 15th North American mainland (Canada)
Sebastian Cabot Italian 15th Northwest Passage (Canada), Río de la Plata, Paraná River (South America)
João Cabral Portuguese 16th Bhutan & Nepal
Pedro Álvares Cabral Portuguese 15th/16th Brazil, Madagascar
Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo Portuguese or Spanish 16th California
Estêvão Cacella Portuguese 16th Himalayas
Alvise Cadamosto Italian 15th Cape Verde islands
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac French 18th North America
René Caillié French 19th North Africa
Álvaro Caminha Portuguese 15th São Tomé and Príncipe islands
Pêro Vaz de Caminha Portuguese 15th Brazil
Alberto del Canto Portuguese 15th/16th Northwestern Mexico
Diogo Cão Portuguese 15th west coast of Africa (including the Congo River)
Hermenegildo de Brito Capelo Portuguese 19th African continent
John Carpini Italian 13th Central Asia, Mongolia
Juan Carrasco Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Kit Carson American 19th Rocky Mountains, California, Oregon, Great Basin
Jan Carstensz Dutch 17th New Guinea coast, Gulf of Carpentaria
Jacques Cartier French 16th St. Lawrence River
João de Castro Portuguese 15th India, Arabian Peninsula & Red Sea
René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle French 17th Mississippi embayment
Thomas Cavendish English 16th Virginia, Pacific coast of Central and South America
Merieme Chadid Moroccan, French 20th/21st Antarctica, South America, Asia, Astronomer
Paul Du Chaillu French 19th Africa
Harriet Chalmers Adams American 19th/20th South America, Asia, South Pacific
Samuel de Champlain French 16th/17th Quebec, Great Lakes
Chang Chun Chinese 13th Central Asia, Mongolia
Jean Chardin French 17th Persia, India
Semion Chelyuskin Russian 18th Great Northern Expedition
Vasily Chichagov Russian 18th Northern Sea Route
Aleksei Chirikov Russian 18th Great Northern Expedition
Fletcher Christian English 18th Polynesia
Boris Chukhnovsky Russian 20th Arctic
Hugh Clapperton Scottish 19th west and Central Africa
William Clark American 19th Western United States
Gonçalo Coelho Portuguese 15th/16th South American coast
Nicolau Coelho Portuguese 15th Brazil
Frank Cole Canadian 20th Sahara
Bartholomew Columbus Italian (Genoese) 15th/16th Hispaniola, The Antilles
Christopher Columbus Italian (Genoese)


Bahamas, Caribbean, Central America, South America (Colombia and Venezuela)
Diego Columbus Portuguese 16th Hispaniola (Mainly Dominican Republic)
George Comer American 19th/20th Arctic
Niccolò Da Conti Italian (Venetian)


India, Southeast Asia
Frederick Cook American 19th/20th Arctic
James Cook English 18th Australasia, Oceania
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado Spanish 16th New Mexico
Diogo Álvares Correia Portuguese 16th Brazil
Gaspar Côrte-Real Portuguese 16th Newfoundland, Greenland
João Côrte-Real Portuguese 15th Azores, Newfoundland (Possible exploration of North America in 1473)
Miguel Côrte-Real Portuguese 16th Greenland, Newfoundland, Massachusetts
Hernán Cortés Spanish 16th Mexico
Juan de la Cosa Spanish 15th/16th Caribbean, South America
Thomas Coulter Irish 19th Mexico, Alta California
Jean Cousin French 15th Possibly the Americas around 1488. Possibly mouth of the Amazon River
Jacques-Yves Cousteau French 20th the deep sea
Pêro da Covilhã Portuguese 15th/16th India, Ethiopia
Tom Crean Irish 20th Antarctica
Andrew Croft English 20th Arctic
Tristão da Cunha Portuguese 16th Tristan da Cunha islands
Jeremy Curl English/Irish 20th African continent
William Healey Dall American 19th Alaska, Yukon
William Dampier English 17th/18th Australia, Panama, many other locations
Alexandra David-Néel French-Belgian 20th Tibet (Traveled to Lhasa)
Isaac Davis Welsh 18th Hawaii
John Davis English 16th East Indies, Falkland Islands
Wang Dayuan Chinese 14th Southeast Asia, Singapore
Semyon Dezhnev Russian 17th Siberia, Bering Strait (80 years before Vitus Bering)
Bartolomeu Dias Portuguese 15th Africa
Dinis Dias Portuguese 15th Northwest African coast
Diogo Dias Portuguese 16th Madagascar, Somalia
Pêro Dias Portuguese 15th African coast
Dicuil Irish 8th England, Scotland
Karl von Ditmar Baltic German 19th Kamchatka
Raphaël Domjan Swiss people 21st various
Francis Drake English 16th Caribbean, Pacific Coast of North America
Gil Eanes Portuguese 15th Northwest African coast
Juan Sebastián Elcano Spanish 16th completed Ferdinand Magellan's circumnavigation
Francisco de Eliza Spanish 18th Strait of Juan de Fuca and Strait of Georgia
Lincoln Ellsworth American 20th Arctic and Antarctica
Franz Engel German 19th South America
Leif Eriksson Norse Viking 11th Vinland (Newfoundland) and North American mainland (Canada)
Erik the Red Norse Viking 10th Greenland
Pedro Escobar Portuguese 15th São Tomé and Príncipe islands
St Vincent Whitshed Erskine British-South African 19th Gazaland & Limpopo River
Eudoxus of Cyzicus Greek 2nd BC Indian Ocean, attempted circumnavigation of Africa
Euthymenes Greek 6th BC Northwest African coast
George Everest Welsh 19th India
Evliya Çelebi Turkish 17th Turkey, Egypt, Africa, Europe
Ahmad ibn Fadlan Abbasid Caliphate 10th Eastern Europe, Middle East, Russia, Scandinavia
João Álvares Fagundes Portuguese 16th Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
Edmund Fanning American 18th/19th Oceania
Percy Harrison Fawcett English 20th Amazon Rainforest
Álvaro Fernandes Portuguese 15th West African coast
Baltasar Fernandes Portuguese 17th Brazil
Duarte Fernandes Portuguese 16th Thailand
Juan Fernández Spanish 16th Juan Fernández Islands, Pacific Ocean
Salvador Fidalgo Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Peter Fidler English 18th Western Canada
Sir Ranulph Fiennes English 20th/21st Arctic, Antarctica
Matthew Flinders English 18th/19th Australia, Tasmania
Alexander Forbes Scottish 19th California
Peter Forsskål Finnish 18th Arabian Peninsula
John Franklin English 19th Northwest Passage
Simon Fraser Scottish 18th/19th British Columbia
Lançarote de Freitas Portuguese 15th Northwest African coast
John C. Frémont American 19th Oregon Trail, Sierra Nevada
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne French 18th Oceania
Louis de Freycinet French 19th Western Australia, Oceania
Martin Frobisher English 16th Northwest Passage, Canada
Xu Fu Chinese 3rd BC Japan
Juan de Fuca Greek-Spanish 16th Strait of Juan de Fuca, Canada–United States border
Vivian Fuchs English 20th Antarctica
Alfons Gabriel Austrian 20th Iran
Yuri Gagarin Soviet 20th Earth orbit
Martín Galeano Italian (Genoese)-Spanish 16th Colombia
Dionisio Alcalá Galiano Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Juan Galindo Spanish/Irish 19th Mesoamerica (Mayan remains)
Estevão da Gama Portuguese 16th Trindade and Martim Vaz islands, Indian Ocean
João da Gama Portuguese 16th Hokkaido, Kuril islands, North Pacific, North America
Paulo da Gama Portuguese 15th sea route from Europe to India
Vasco da Gama Portuguese 15th/16th sea route from Europe to India
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa Spanish 16th Solomon Islands
Thomas Gann Irish 19th/20th Mesoamerica (Mayan remains)
Aleixo Garcia Portuguese 16th Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia
Francisco García Jofre de Loaísa Spanish 16th Pacific Ocean
Francis Garnier French 19th Mekong River
Adrien de Gerlache Belgian 19th/20th Antarctica, Arctic
Romolo Gessi Italian 19th the Nile, Sudan
Humphrey Gilbert English 16th North America
Ernest Giles Australian 19th Central Australia
Diogo Gomes Portuguese 15th West African coast
André Gonçalves Portuguese 15th/16th Brazil
Antão Gonçalves Portuguese 15th West African coast
Lopes Gonçalves Portuguese 15th Atlantic Ocean
Binot Paulmier de Gonneville French 15th/16th Brazil (Santa Catarina)
Sascha Grabow German 20th/21st DRC Congo
James Augustus Grant Scottish 19th East Africa
João Grego Portuguese 15th African coast
Juan de Grijalva Spanish 16th Mexico, Nicaragua
Grigory Grum-Grshimailo Russian 19th/20th Central Asia, Tuva, Far East
Gonzalo Guerrero Spanish 16th Yucatán Peninsula
Mikhail Gvozdev Russian 18th First Kamchatka Expedition, Great Northern Expedition
Charles Gwynn Irish 19th/20th Sudan
Niels Peter Høeg Hagen Danish 20th Greenland
Hanno the Navigator Carthaginian 6th BC West African coast
Hannu Egyptian 21st/20th BC East Africa
Gonzalo López de Haro Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Alfred Harrison English 20th Arctic
Dirk Hartog Dutch 17th Western Australian coast
Ahmed Pasha Hassanein Egyptian 20th Oweinat and the Sahara
Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden American 19th Rocky Mountains and the Western United States
Zheng He Chinese 15th South Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, East African coast
Samuel Hearne English 18th North Canada, Arctic
Bruno de Heceta Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Sven Hedin Swedish 19th/20th Central Asia
Matthew Alexander Henson American 20th Arctic
Louis Hennepin Belgian-French 17th North American interior
Pedro de Heredia Spanish 16th Northern Colombia
Bjarni Herjulfsson Norse Viking 10th North America
William Lewis Herndon American 19th Amazon basin
Herodotus Greek 5th BC Near East, Middle East, North Africa
Thor Heyerdahl Norwegian 20th anthropological ocean voyages
Sir Edmund Hillary New Zealander 20th Mount Everest, Antarctica
Himilco the Navigator Carthaginian 6th BC Northwestern coast of Europe
Hippalus Greek 1st BC Indian Ocean
Clement Hodgkinson English 19th New South Wales (Australia)
Pelham Aldrich English 19th/20th Arctic
Emil Holub Czech 19th Africa
Robert Hottot French 20th Congo River
Cornelis de Houtman Dutch 16th sea route from Europe to Indonesia
Frederick de Houtman Dutch 16th/17th Western Australian coast
William Hovell English 19th Southern New South Wales
Du Huan Chinese 8th Central Asia, Middle East, East African coast
Henry Hudson English 17th Northwest Passage, Hudson River and Hudson Bay
Alexander von Humboldt German 19th Latin America, Siberia
Hamilton Hume Australian 19th Australian interior
James S. Hutchinson American 20th Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Hyecho Korean 8th India, Persia and Central Asia
João Infante Portuguese 15th African coast
Helge Ingstad Norwegian 20th Newfoundland, Greenland, Alaska
James Irwin American 20th The Moon
Kurbat Ivanov Siberian Cossack 17th Siberia, Russian Far East, discoverer of Lake Baikal
Roberto Ivens Portuguese 19th African continent
Cristóvão Jacques Portuguese 16th Paraná River, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina
James of Ireland Irish 14th Sumatra, China
Willem Janszoon Dutch 17th Australia (Queensland)
Anthony Jenkinson English 16th Russia, Persia
Louis Jolliet French Canadian 17th Mississippi River
Jørgen Jørgensen Danish 18th/19th Tasmania
Friar Julian Hungarian 13th Volga Bulgaria
Thorfinn Karlsefni Icelandic 11th Vinland
Johann Karl Ehrenfried Kegel German 19th Kamchatka
George Kennan American 19th/20th Russia
Edmund Kennedy British-Australian 19th Australian interior
Robert Kennicott American 19th Alaska, Siberia, Yukon and Northern Canada
Yerofey Khabarov Russian 17th Second Russian to explore the Amur region
Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad Andalusian 9th Atlantic Ocean (possibly Americas)
Mary Kingsley English 19th Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and other South West African regions
Eusebio Kino Italian 17th/18th Californias, Sonora and Arizona
Maria Klenova Russian 20th One of the founders of marine geology
Amyr Klink Brazilian 20th Antarctica
John Knight English 17th Greenland, Labrador
Johan Peter Koch Danish 20th Greenland
Alexander Kolchak Russian 20th Russian Arctic
Ferdinand Konščak Croatian 17th Baja California Peninsula
Fyodor Konyukhov Russian 20th/21st circumnavigation, Explorers Grand Slam, pole of inaccessibility
Otto von Kotzebue Baltic German 19th Pacific Ocean
Pyotr Kozlov Russian 20th Mongolia, Tibet
Johann Ludwig Krapf German 19th Ethiopia, Kenya
Pyotr Krenitsyn Russian 18th Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula
Adam Johann von Krusenstern Baltic German 19th First Russian circumnavigation
Francisco de Lacerda Portuguese 18th Zambia
Juan Ladrillero Spanish 16th Chile
Ernest Doudard de Lagrée French 19th Indochina, Mekong and Yunnan
Alexander Gordon Laing Scottish 19th West Africa (Niger River and Timbuktu)
Pierre Martin de La Martinière French 17th Norway, Lapland, northern Russia, Novaya Zemlya, Greenland and Iceland
Richard Lemon Lander Cornish 19th West Africa (Niger and Benue Rivers)
Grigori Ivanovitch Langsdorff RussianGerman 19th Brazil
Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse French 18th Pacific Rim
Khariton Laptev Russian 18th Great Northern Expedition
Anthony de la Roché English 17th Antarctica
João Fernandes Lavrador Portuguese 15th/16th Labrador
Joseph N. LeConte American 20th Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Albert von Le Coq German 19th/20th Central Asia
John Ledyard American 18th Australasia, Oceania, Russia
Miguel López de Legazpi Spanish 16th Philippines
Ludwig Leichhardt German 19th Australian interior
Jacob Le Maire Dutch 17th South Pacific (Cape Horn, Tonga Islands, Wallis and Futuna)
Gaspar de Lemos Portuguese 15th Brazil
Dragutin Lerman Croatian 19th/20th Congo
Mikhail Levashev Russian 18th Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula
Meriwether Lewis American 18th/19th Western United States
Sir Martin Lindsay, 1st Baronet Scottish 20th East Greenland
João de Lisboa Portuguese 15th/16th Indian Ocean, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina
St. George Littledale English 19th Central Asia and North America
David Livingstone Scottish 19th Southern and East Africa
Louis-Philippe Loncke Belgian 21st Australia, the Andes and Iceland
Jim Lovell American 20th Outer Space
Alexander Mackenzie Scottish Canadian 18th/19th Canada
Ferdinand Magellan Portuguese 15th/16th 1st circumnavigation, Philippines, Strait of Malacca, Indian Ocean
Jacques Mahu French-Dutch 16th Cape Verde islands
Alessandro Malaspina Italian-Spanish 18th Pacific Ocean
Teoberto Maler German-Italian 19th Mesoamerica (Mayan remains)
George Mallory English 20th Mount Everest
Lancelotto Malocello Italian 13th/14th Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
Albert Hastings Markham British 19th Arctic
Lourenço Marques Portuguese 16th Mozambique
Jacques Marquette French 17th Mississippi River
Álvaro Martins Portuguese 15th Newfoundland, Cape of Good Hope
Pedro Mascarenhas Portuguese 16th Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia
John Minor Maury American 19th Darién Gap
Douglas Mawson Australian 20th Antarctica
Robert McClure Irish 19th Arctic
Robert McCormick British 19th Arctic and Antarctic Oceans
Álvaro de Mendaña Spanish 16th Pacific Ocean
António Lopes Mendes Portuguese 19th Brazil, India
Cristóvão de Mendonça Portuguese 16th East Asia, Australasia
Pedro de Mendoza Spanish 16th South America
Jorge de Menezes Portuguese 16th Papua New Guinea
Archibald Menzies Scottish 18th/19th Pacific Ocean, circumnavigation
Alexander von Middendorff Russian-Baltic German 19th Siberia, Far East, Lapland, Fergana Valley
Ejnar Mikkelsen Danish 20th Greenland
Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay Russian 19th New Guinea
Thomas Mitchell Scottish 19th Australian interior
Richard Mohun American 19th/20th Congo Free State
Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons French 16th/17th North America
George Fletcher Moore Irish 19th Australia
John Moresby English 19th New Guinea coast
Ivan Moskvitin Russian 17th First European to reach the Sea of Okhotsk
António Mota Portuguese 16th Japan
Henri Mouhot French 19th South East Asia
Francisco Antonio Mourelle Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest and Pacific Ocean
Bimal Mukherjee Indian 20th circumnavigation
Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen Danish 20th Greenland
Gustav Nachtigal German 19th Africa
Naddoddur Norse Viking 9th Iceland
Nain Singh Rawat (Pundit Brothers) Indian 19th Tibet, Himalayas and Central Asia
Fridtjof Nansen Norwegian 19th/20th Arctic
José María Narváez Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Nearchus Greek 4th BC Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf
Nehsi Egyptian 15th BC Land of Punt
Arthur Henry Neumann English 19th Africa
Gennady Nevelskoy Russian 19th Sakhalin
Jean Nicolet French 17th Northwest Territory (United States)
Joseph Nicollet French-American 19th Mississippi and Missouri Rivers
Afanasiy Nikitin Russian 15th India
António Noli Portuguese 15th Cape Verde islands
Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld Finnish 19th Arctic
Tenzing Norgay Nepalese 20th Mount Everest
Fernão de Noronha Portuguese 15th/16th Atlantic Ocean
João da Nova Galician-Portuguese 16th Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Paulo Dias de Novais Portuguese 16th Angola
Kazimierz Nowak Polish 20th Africa
Vanessa O'Brien American and British 20th/21st Mountaineering and Challenger Deep in Marianas Trench
Sebastián de Ocampo Spanish 16th Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico
Addison O'Dea American 21st The Sahara
Odoric of Pordenone Italian 14th Persia, India and China
Peter Skene Ogden Canadian 19th Snake River country, Western United States
Alonso de Ojeda Spanish 15th/16th South America (north), Caribbean
Juan de Oñate Spanish 16th American Southwest
Francisco de Orellana Spanish 16th South America, Amazon River
Italian 21st Arctic, Tibet
Íñigo Órtiz de Retes Spanish 16th Papua New Guinea
John Oxenham English 16th Panama, Pacific Ocean
John Oxley English 19th Australia
Pedro Páez Spanish 16th/17th Ethiopia
Juan Pardo Spanish 16th Southeastern United States
Mungo Park Scottish 18th/19th West Africa (Niger River)
William Parry English 19th Arctic
James Ohio Pattie American 19th Western United States
Fiann Paul Icelandic 21st Arctic, Antarctic, Oceans
Nathaniel Pearce English 19th Ethiopia
Robert Peary American 19th/20th Arctic
Paul Pelliot French 19th/20th central Asia
Diogo Fernandes Pereira Portuguese 15th/16th Madagascar, Mascarenes (Réunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues)
Duarte Pacheco Pereira Portuguese 15th Atlantic Ocean, Brazil
Bartolomeu Perestrelo Portuguese 15th Madeira Islands
Juan Pérez Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Maksim Perfilyev Siberian Cossack 17th Eastern Siberia, first Russian to reach Transbaikalia
Ivan Petlin Siberian Cossack 17th First Russian to reach China
Auguste Piccard Swiss 20th Earth's atmosphere, the deep sea
Jacques Piccard Swiss 20th the deep sea
Antonio Pigafetta Italian (Venetian) 16th Survived the 1st circumnavigation of the world
Zebulon Pike American 19th Louisiana Purchase (United States)
Alonso Alvarez de Pineda Spanish 16th Gulf Coast
Fernão Mendes Pinto Portuguese 16th India, Far East, Japan
Serpa Pinto Portuguese 19th Southern Africa
Martin Alonzo Pinzón Spanish 15th Caribbean
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón Spanish 15th/16th Caribbean, Brazil
Luís Pires Portuguese 15th abortive voyage to Brazil
Francisco Pizarro Spanish 16th Hispaniola, Panama, Peru
Fernão do Pó Portuguese 15th West African coast
Marco Polo Italian (Venetian) 13th/14th China, Mongol Empire, India
Juan Ponce de León Spanish 15th/16th Florida
Peter Pond American 18th/19th Canadian interior
Fedot Popov Russian 17th The first European expedition through the Bering Strait
António da Silva Porto Portuguese 19th Angola interior
Gaspar de Portolà Spanish 18th Alta and Baja California
Posidonius Greek 1st BC Gaul
Sydney Possuelo Brazilian 20th/21st Amazon
Panayotis Potagos Greek 19th Africa
Grigory Potanin Russian 19th Inner Asia
John Wesley Powell American 19th Western United States
Vassili Poyarkov Russian 17th First Russian explorer of the Amur region
Mandil Pradhan Nepalese 21st Himalayas
Gavriil Pribylov Russian 18th Pribilof Islands
Vasili Pronchishchev Russian 18th Great Northern Expedition
Maria Pronchishcheva Russian 18th The first female Arctic explorer
Nathaniel Hale Pryor American 19th western United States
Nikolai Przhevalsky Russian 19th Central Asia
Peter Puget English 19th Puget Sound
Pytheas Greek 4th BC Northern Europe
Zhang Qian Chinese 2nd BC Central Asia
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós Portuguese 16th/17th Oceania
Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada Spanish 16th From Santa Marta to the Bogotá savanna; quest for El Dorado
Hernán Pérez de Quesada Spanish 16th Caquetá, Colombia; quest for El Dorado
Manuel Quimper Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
Emil Racoviță Romanian 19th/20th Antarctica
John Rae Scottish Canadian 19th Northwest Passage, Canadian Arctic
Sir Walter Raleigh English 16th/17th Virginia, Orinoco River
Knud Rasmussen Danish 20th Arctic
Piri Reis Turkish 15th/16th Mediterranean Sea
Matteo Ricci Italian 16th China
Mario Rigby Turks and Caicos Islander 21st Africa
Arthur Rimbaud French 19th Horn of Africa (Abyssinia)
Luigi Robecchi Italian 19th Africa
Anthony de la Roché English 17th Antarctic (South Georgia)
Diogo Rodrigues Portuguese 16th Mascarene Islands
Nicholas Roerich Russian 20th Central Asia, Northeast Asia
Jacob Roggeveen Dutch 18th South Pacific (Easter Island)
Cândido Rondon Brazilian 19th/20th Brazilian interior (Amazon Basin)
James Clark Ross English 19th Arctic, Antarctic
Sir John Ross Scottish 19th Arctic
John Ross Scottish Australian 19th Northern Territory
William of Rubruck Flemish 13th Central Asia
Nikolay Rudanovsky Russian 19th Sakhalin
Henry Russell Irish 19th Pyrenees
Ahmad ibn Rustah Persian 10th Russia, Scandinavia, Arabia
João de Sá Portuguese 15th/16th India, African coast
Álvaro de Saavedra Spanish 16th Papua New Guinea, Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands
Edward Sabine Irish 19th Arctic
Sacagawea Lemhi Shoshone 18th/19th Western United States
Anatoly Sagalevich Russian 20th/21st Explorer of the World Ocean, seabed at the North Pole
Kira Salak American 20th/21st Papua New Guinea, Mali, Bhutan
Alonso de Salazar Spanish 16th Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean
Gadiel Sánchez Rivera Peruvian 21st Amazon, Lake Titicaca
Sándor Kőrösi Csoma Hungarian 19th Tibet
Yakov Sannikov Russian 19th New Siberian Islands
João de Santarém Portuguese 15th São Tomé and Príncipe islands
Gavril Sarychev Russian 18th/19th Sea of Okhotsk, Baltic Sea, Aleutian Islands
Martin Sauer English 18th Siberia, Alaska
Rabban Bar Sauma Turco-Mongol 13th Europe, Middle East
Johann Schiltberger German 15th Central Asia
Adolf Schlagintweit German 19th Central Asia
Eduard Schlagintweit German 19th Central Asia
Emil Schlagintweit German 19th Central Asia
Hermann Schlagintweit German 19th Central Asia
Robert Schlagintweit German 19th Central Asia
Ulrich Schmidl German 16th Río de la Plata
Willem Schouten Dutch 17th South Pacific (Cape Horn, Tonga Islands, Wallis and Futuna)
Georg August Schweinfurth Baltic German 19th East and Central Africa
Robert Falcon Scott English 19th/20th Antarctica (South Pole)
Scylax of Caryanda Greek 6th BC Indus River, Indian Ocean, Red Sea
Tibor Sekelj Croat 20th Argentina
Mirko and Stjepan Seljan Croat 20th Ethiopia, South America
Frederick Courtney Selous English 19th Africa
Symon Semeonis Hiberno-Norman 14th Jerusalem, Albania
Gomes de Sequeira Portuguese 16th Caroline Islands, Pacific Ocean
João Serrão Portuguese 15th/16th 1st Circumnavigation (also later its co-captain general); commanded the ship Santiago in the Atlantic and the Concepcion across the Pacific, Strait of Malacca, Indian Ocean
Francisco Serrão Portuguese 15th/16th Indonesia
Ernest Shackleton English-Irish 20th Antarctica
Robert Barkley Shaw English 19th Central Asia
Eric Shipton English 20th Mount Everest, southern Patagonia
Tanaka Shōsuke Japanese 17th Mexico
Diogo Silves Portuguese 15th Azores
James Simpson English 20th North Greenland
Pêro de Sintra Portuguese 15th West African coast, Sierra Leone
Pierre-Jean De Smet Belgian 19th North America
Jedediah Smith American 19th Western United States, Rocky Mountains
John Smith English 17th North America
William Smith English 19th South Shetland Islands
Eugene Smurgis Russian 20th Arctic Ocean
J. Dewey Soper Canadian 20th Canadian Arctic
Hernando de Soto Spanish 16th Central America, Southern United States
Martim Afonso de Sousa Portuguese 16th Brazilian interior
John Hanning Speke English 19th East Africa
Hans Staden German 16th Brazil
Ed Stafford English 21st Amazon
William Grant Stairs Canadian 19th Central Africa
Henry Morton Stanley Welsh 19th East Africa
Vilhjalmur Stefansson Icelandic Canadian 20th Canadian Arctic
Marc Aurel Stein Hungarian-British 19th/20th Central Asia
John Lloyd Stephens American 19th Middle East, Mesoamerica (Mayan remains)
Paweł Strzelecki Polish-British 19th the Americas, Australia (Gippsland)
John McDouall Stuart Scottish 19th Australian Interior
Charles Sturt British 19th Australian Interior
Gardar Svavarsson Swedish 9th Iceland
Anders Svedlund Swedish 20th Oceans
Otto Sverdrup Norwegian 19th/20th Arctic
Ignacije Szentmartony Croat 18th Amazon River
Abel Tasman Dutch 17th Australasia, including Tasmania
António Raposo Tavares Portuguese 17th Paraguay River, part of the Andes mountain range, Grande River, Mamoré River, Madeira River, Amazon River (Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia) Union of La Plata Basin to the Amazon River - circumnavigation of Brazil.
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier French 17th Persia, India
Mikhail Tebenkov Russian 19th Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Amur River
Pedro Teixeira Portuguese 17th Amazon River
Tristão Vaz Teixeira Portuguese 15th Madeira Islands
Wilfred Thesiger English 20th Africa, Middle East
David Thompson WelshEnglish 18th/19th Western Canada, Pacific Northwest
Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir Icelandic 11th North America
Harold William Tilman English 20th Himalayas, Patagonia
Yermak Timofeyevich Russian 16th Siberia
Gherman Titov Russian 20th First person to orbit the Earth multiple times
Tenjiku Tokubei Japanese 17th South East Asia, India
Eduard Toll Baltic German 19th Arctic
Luis Váez de Torres Spanish Galician 16th/17th Australasia
Nuno Tristão Portuguese 15th West African coast, Guinea-Bissau
Petrus Johannes Truter Dutch 19th Bechuanaland
Hasekura Tsunenaga Japanese 17th Mexico, Europe
Benjamin of Tudela Jewish Navarrese 12th Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Peninsula, Red Sea, Persian Gulf
Andrés de Urdaneta Spanish 16th Pacific Ocean, Manila Galleon route
Jules Dumont d'Urville French 19th Antarctica
Cayetano Valdés y Flores Spanish 18th Pacific Northwest
George Vancouver English 18th Pacific coast of North America
Ludovico di Varthema Italian 15th/16th Arabian Peninsula, Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia
Gonçalo Velho Portuguese 15th Azores
François de La Vérendrye French Canadian 18th Western Canada
Louis-Joseph Gaultier de La Vérendrye French Canadian 18th Great Plains
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye French 18th Great Plains
Giovanni da Verrazzano Italian 16th East Coast of the United States
Amerigo Vespucci Italian 15th/16th Eastern South American coast, Caribbean
Flóki Vilgerðarson Norse Viking 9th Iceland
Ruy López de Villalobos Spanish 16th Pacific Ocean, Philippines
Vandino and Ugolino Vivaldi Italian 13th Africa, in a failed attempt to reach India
Sebastián Vizcaíno Spanish 16th Northwest Pacific, California Coast
Willem de Vlamingh Dutch 17th Southwest Australian coast
Maarten Gerritsz Vries Dutch 17th Northwest Pacific (Hokkaido, Sakhalin)
Lionel Wafer Welsh 17th Malay Archipelago, Isthmus of Panama
Jean-Frédéric Waldeck French 19th Mesoamerica (Mayan remains)
Thomas Walker American 18th Eastern United States
Gino Watkins English 20th East Greenland & Labrador
Langdon Warner American 20th the Silk Road
Alfred Wegener German 20th Greenland
John White English 15th Roanoke Island
Jim Whittaker American 20th Mount Everest, Antarctica
Frederick Whymper English 19th Alaska, Kamchatka, Yukon
Charles Wilkes American 19th Pacific Ocean
Edward Adrian Wilson English 19th/20th Antarctica
Ernest Henry Wilson English 19th/20th East Asia, East Africa, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand
James Wilson British 18th Pacific Islands
Thomas Braidwood Wilson Scottish Australian 19th Australia
Harry de Windt French 19th/20th Eurasia
Fanny Bullock Workman American 19th/20th Himalaya
Ferdinand von Wrangel Baltic German 19th Northern Russia
Xuanzang Chinese 7th Indian subcontinent, Central Asia
John Young Scottish-English 18th Hawaii
Sir Francis Younghusband British 19th/20th Central Asia
Topa Inca Yupanqui Inca 15th Pacific
João Gonçalves Zarco Portuguese 15th Madeira Islands
Gonzalo García Zorro Spanish 16th Colombia
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