On April 27, 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by a poison arrow during a skirmish on the island of Mactan in what is now the Philippines. Magellan and his crew were assisting a local king they had allied with when they landed on the island of Cebu weeks earlier.
 
Magellan and his crew endured a long voyage to the Philippines. First, they sailed from Spain to the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa. From there, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to what is now Brazil and Argentina. The harrowing trip around the tip of South America—what is now called the Strait of Magellan—took 38 days. Then the crew set sail across the Pacific. By the time Magellan and his crew reached the Philippines, they had been at sea for more than a year. 
 
Magellan was on a route to Portuguese territories in the Spice Islands (now Indonesia). Although Magellan himself was Portuguese, he was working for Spain, and hoped to claim the lucrative islands for the Spanish Empire. 
assist
Noun

to help or support.

endure
Verb

to survive.

explorer
Noun

person who studies unknown areas.

harrowing
Adjective

extremely disturbing or scary.

lucrative
Adjective

profitable or money-making.

route
Noun

path or way.

skirmish
Noun

fight or dispute involving few people.

Noun

narrow passage of water that connects two larger bodies of water.

tribe
Noun

community made of one or several family groups sharing a common culture.

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