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A few hundred years ago, the known physical world was a lot smaller. With the discovery of the 'new world' (and its gold deposits), many Europeans were emboldened to find out more about what was out there and wasted no time launching ships and staking claims. Here are many of the more successful.
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Antonio de Ulloa

borndied
1716, Jan 121795, Jul 3
a Spanish general, explorer, author, astronomer, colonial administrator and the first Spanish governor of Louisiana. He became prominent as a scientist and was appointed to serve on various important scientific commissions. He is credited with the establishment of the first museum of natural history, the first metallurgical laboratory in Spain, and the obser...
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Andres de Urdaneta

aka: Andrés
bornactivedied
1498, Nov 301520s-1560s1568, Jun 3
a Basque circumnavigator, explorer and Augustinian friar. As a navigator he achieved the "second" world circumnavigation (after the first one led by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano). Urdaneta discovered and plotted a path across the Pacific from the Philippines to Acapulco in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico) used by the Manila ...
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