Disaster in the High Seas: The Spanish Expeditions in the Pacific in the Sixteenth Century

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Title

Disaster in the High Seas: The Spanish Expeditions in the Pacific in the Sixteenth Century

Description

The Pacific Ocean is the largest body of water on earth, measuring more than 165 million square kilometers. Although the first European to spot it was Vasco Nuñez de Balboa in 1513, who named it Mar del Sur (South Sea) due to a miscalculation, it was Ferdinand Magellan who named it Pacifico after taking notice of its calm waters. This paper discusses the various disasters that sixteenth-century Spanish expeditions encountered during their trips to and from the Philippines while crossing the vast Pacific Ocean. It focuses on four events: (1) natural disasters like storms and gales; (2) health hazards like diseases and spoiled food provisions; (3) man-made hazards like mutinies and piracies; and, (4) other accidents like leaks and reef grounding. The study covers the period from Magellan’s voyage of 1519 up to the trips of the galleons until the end of the sixteenth century, and concludes with the lessons learned from a century of traversing the Pacific.

Creator

Ma. Luisa De Leon-Bolinao, in Van Tilburg, H., Tripati, S., Walker Vadillo, V., Fahy, B., and Kimura, J. (eds.)

Date

5/14/2014

Files

Citation

Ma. Luisa De Leon-Bolinao, in Van Tilburg, H., Tripati, S., Walker Vadillo, V., Fahy, B., and Kimura, J. (eds.), “Disaster in the High Seas: The Spanish Expeditions in the Pacific in the Sixteenth Century ,” The MUA Collection, accessed February 8, 2023, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1600.

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