Christopher Columbus’s geography was wrong, but his basic idea was right.
It was possible to reach Asia by sailing west from Spain. Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480-1521) provided the proof with his final expedition.
Working for the Spanish crown, Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519. His fleet traveled to the southern tip of South America, through the strait now named the Strait of Magellan. From there the expedition traveled to Indonesia, around the southern tip of Africa, and, in 1522, back to Spain.
The expedition was the first to circumnavigate, or circle, the globe. Only one of the five original ships finished the trip, and only 18 of the original crew of 266. Magellan was not one of them.
He was killed in a fight with natives in the Philippines in 1521. Yet he thought of and led the expedition, and is given credit for its success.