Famous Explorers - List of Famous Explorers

Throughout the history of mankind, there have been several adventurous souls who set out to explore the unknown. Spirited and courageous, they risked their lives on their expeditions to seek out lands hitherto unknown to the civilized world. When we talk of explorers, Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama, would undoubtedly be one of the first names that come to our mind— after all as one of the pioneers of the ‘Age of Exploration’, he was the commander of one of the sailing ships that ventured into India from Europe. Venice native Marco Polo was another legendary explorer who set out to explore Asia and became the first European to meet the Mogul emperor Kublai Khan. While Christopher Columbus was the one to discover America by sailing through the Atlantic Ocean, it was Jacques Cartier, one of the earliest French explorers, who explored the region of Northern America to discover what is now Canada, and claimed the area for France. When US Army volunteers Second Lieutenant William Clark and Captain Meriwether Lewis led the Corps of Discovery Expedition in 1804, it was a woman explorer, Native American Sacagawea, who guided them on this expedition. Scroll down to discover many interesting facts about the famous explorers from all over the world.

The Most Famous Explorers

John Cabot1450ItalianJohn Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer who was the first European to discover the coast of North America
Marco Polo1254ItalianMarco Polo was the legendary Italian merchant, explorer and traveler, who travelled to China and worked under emperor, Kublai Khan
Henry Hudson1565BritishHenry Hudson was an early 17th century English navigator and explorer
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado1510SpanishFrancisco Vazquez de Coronado was a Spanish conquistador who became one of the first Europeans to discover the Grand Canyon
Hernán Cortés1485SpanishHernán Cortés was a Spanish soldier, better known as the conqueror of Mexico
Bear GryllsJune 7, 1974BritishBear Grylls is an adventurer popularly known for his bizarre survival tactics in reality television series Man vs
Hernando de Soto1500SpanishHernando de Soto was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the conquests of Central America and Peru
Robert PearyMay 6, 1856AmericanRobert Edwin Peary, Sr
Ferdinand Magellan1480PortugueseFerdinand Magellan was a famous Portuguese navigator and explorer
Ibn BattutaFebruary 25, 1304MoroccanIbn Batuta was a famous explorer of the medieval era who chronicled his travel accounts spanning over three decades
Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, oceanographer, researcher, filmmaker, undersea explorer, author, and photographer

FrenchJune 11, 1910169 views

Sven Hedin

Sven Hedin was a Swedish explorer, geographer and travel writer known for his expeditions to Central Asia

SwedishFebruary 19, 1865166 views

Nikolay Przhevalsky

Nikolay Przhevalsky was a Russian explorer who contributed significantly to European knowledge of Central Asia

RussianApril 12, 1839144 views

Francisco Moreno

Francisco Moreno was an Argentine naturalist, explorer, anthropologist, and geographer in the late 19th century

ArgentinianMay 31, 1852157 views

Ferdinand von Richthofen

Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen was a German geographer, geologist and traveler

GermanMay 5, 1833140 views

Henry Gannett

Henry Gannett was an American geographer often called "the Father of American map-making." This biography of Henry Gannett provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

AmericanAugust 24, 1846176 views


Pytheas was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony of Massalia

Greek350 BC117 views

Douglas Mawson

Sir Douglas Mawson was an Australian explorer, geologist and academic

AustralianMay 5, 1882182 views

Lawrence Hargrave

Lawrence Hargrave was an Australian engineer, aviation pioneer, inventor, explorer, and astronomer

AustralianJanuary 29, 1850131 views

Vasco Núñez de Balboa

Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa was one of the most important and influential explorers in the 16th century

Spanish1475124 views