In 1519, a Portuguese sailor set sail from Seville, Spain, in an effort to sail around the globe. This expedition was funded by Spain. After Magellan and his 260 men and five ships reached South America, they began looking for a way through the continent to the other side. After several months, they finally discovered the southern tip of South America, which is now known as the Straight of Magellan.
As Magellan traveled through these rough waters, one of his ships became separated and was forced to return to Spain. Another ship crashed on a rocky island.
The three remaining ships traveled for several more months and finally made it to the Philippines. Here, Magellan became involved in a local dispute with a tribal king and was killed. His remaining crew of 18 men sailed back to Spain, arriving home after being gone for three years.
This expedition was costly in both cost of goods as well as cost of life. However, it was important because it was the first time anyone had managed to sail around the entire globe. They proved once and for all that what Columbus had discovered was indeed a new world. They also discovered just how large the Earth really was.