Famous Explorers of the World
Are you interested in exploring the world? Here is a list of "30 role models". Learn their stories and get inspiration for your next exploration!
a data set by WorldExplorer
created January 8, 2017
Guess the Explorer
Can you guess the explorer based on his or her major accomplishment? Remember, you need to act quickly before the time is up. Let's go!
Find the Incorrect Match
In this game, you will see several matches about each explorer's name, picture, and main area(s) he or she explored, but unfortunately one of these matches is wrong. Can you quickly find it?
Explorers and Their Nationalities
Do you know where these explorers are from? In each round, please select all the explorers that fit the criteria.
What Does the Explorer Look Like?
Use this flash card game to remember the faces of these great explorers.
Match Explorers and Their Published Works
Thanks to the documentation of these explorers, we are able to learn and be inspired by the great explorations in history. Test your knowledge to see how much you know about these explorers and their published works!
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|Explorer||Picture||Nationality||Year of Birth||Year of Death||Reason for Fame||Main Area Explored||Published Work|
|Leif Ericson||Norwegian||970||1020||He was the first European to set foot on North America.||Vinland (Newfoundland) and North American mainland (Canada)|
|Marco Polo||Italian||1254||1324||He explored Asia and was the first European to meet Kublai Khan.||China, Mongol Empire, India||The Travels of Marco Polo|
|Ibn Battuta||Moroccan||1304||1369||He traveled to Islamic countries throughout the world.||Africa, Central Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Middle East, Russia, Southeast Asia||Journey|
|Zheng He||Chinese||1371||1433||He led voyages that brought him through Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.||South Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, East African coast|
|John Cabot||Italian||1450||1499||He was the first European since the Vikings to explore the mainland of North America and the first to search for the Northwest Passage.||North American mainland (Canada)|
|Bartolomeu Dias||Portuguese||1451||1500||He was the first European to sail around the southern tip of Africa.||Africa|
|Christopher Columbus||Italian||1451||1506||Discovery and colonization of the Americas||Bahamas, Caribbean, Central America, South America (Colombia and Venezuela)||Book of Privileges; Book of Prophecies|
|Amerigo Vespucci||Italian||1454||1512||He was the man from whom the word “America” comes. He was also able to show that Brazil was not part of Asia.||Eastern South American coast, Caribbean||Amerigo Vespucci; Mundus Novus; The First Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci|
|Vasco da Gama||Portuguese||1460||1524||He was one of the pioneers of the Age of Exploration, leading sails from Europe to India.||Sea route from Europe to India||A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco Da Gama|
|Francisco Pizarro||Spanish||1471 or 1476||1541||His expedition to South America and the overthrow of the Incan empire||Hispaniola, Panama, Peru|
|Juan Ponce de Leon||Spanish||1474||1521||He was the very first European to discover and explore Florida.||Florida|
|Ferdinand Magellan||Portuguese||1480||1521||He led the first sailing expedition to circumnavigate the globe.||1st circumnavigation, Philippines, Strait of Malacca, Indian Ocean|
|Hernan Cortes||Spanish||1485||1547||He was an explorer and soldier who conquered the Aztec empire.||Mexico||Five Letters; The Discovery & Conquest of Mexico|
|Jacques Cartier||French||1491||1557||He was the first European to travel inland in North America, who claimed Canada for France.||St. Lawrence River||The Voyages of Jacques Cartier|
|Hernando de Soto||Spanish||1495||1542||He was the first European to cross and document the Mississippi River.||Central America, Southern United States|
|Francis Drake||British||1540||1596||He was the second man to circumnavigate the world between 1577 and 1580.||Caribbean, Pacific Coast of North America||The Life of the Celebrated|
|Henry Hudson||British||around 1565-1570||1611||He explored the New York area and had a river named after him.||Northwest Passage, Hudson River and Hudson Bay|
|Samuel de Champlain||French||1574||1635||He is known as the “Father of the New France” as he established New France and Quebec City during his explorations in North America.||Quebec, Great Lakes||Voyages of Samuel De Champlain; Narrative of a Voyage to the West Indies and Mexico in the Years 1599-1602|
|John Smith||British||1580||1631||He was the leader of the Virginia colony and also led explorations of Chesapeake Bay and Virginia.||Virginia||The General History of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles; A Description of New England|
|James Cook||British||1728||1779||Discovery of the Hawaiian Islands||Australasia, Oceania||A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World|
|Daniel Boone||American||1734||1820||He blazed the trail from Virginia to Kentucky through the Appalachian Mountains.||Appalachian Mountains||The Life of Daniel Boone; Stories of American Pioneers|
|William Clark||American||1770||1838||He was one of the leaders of the Corps of Discovery, the first American expedition to explore the western portion.||Western United States||The Journals of Lewis and Clark|
|Meriwether Lewis||American||1774||1809||He was one of the leaders of the Corps of Discovery, the first American expedition to explore the western portion.||Western United States||The Journals of Lewis and Clark|
|Sacagawea||American Native (Shoshone)||1788||1812||She traveled as guide with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.||Western United States|
|Roald Amundsen||Norwegian||1872||1928||Discovery of the South Pole||South Pole, Antarctica, Northwest Passage||My Life as an Explorer; First Crossing of the Polar Sea; The South Pole|
|Jacques Cousteau||French||1910||1997||He studied and explored life under the sea.||The deep sea||The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau; Diving for Sunken Treasure; The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus|
|Edmund Hillary||New Zealand||1919||2008||He was the first man to ever climb to the top of Mount Everest.||Mount Everest, Antarctica||High Adventure; Nothing Venture, Nothing Win; From the Ocean to the Sky|
|Neil Armstrong||American||1930||2012||He was the first man to walk on the moon.||The moon||First on the Moon|
|Yuri Gagarin||Soviet||1934||1968||He was the first person to go into outer space.||Earth orbit||Road to the Stars; Psychology and Space; Soviet Man in Space|
|Reinhold Messner||Italian||1944||He successfully climbed Mount Everest in 1978 with no oxygen to supplement his climb. He is also the first man to climb fourteen mountains that are at least 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) high.||Mount Everest and other moutains||The Naked Mountain; Spirit: A Climber's Life; To the Top of the World: Alpine Challenges in the Himalaya and Karakoram|