The New World

What did James Cook not discover?

During the eighteenth century, James Cook was sent on several expeditions of discovery, one of which was to the southern Pacific Ocean in search of the legendary landmass “Terra Australis Incognita.” Though the continent that is now known as Australia had already been discovered, a centuries-old belief foretold of another huge continent in that area. Cook traveled to the southern Pacific Ocean and disproved the legend of “Terra Australis Incognita.” On another expedition, Cook was sent to find a water route north of North America from Asia to Europe. As Cook sailed, he discovered the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands) and determined that a Northwest Passage was not feasible because of ice. On his way back from this “un”-discovery, Cook was killed in the Sandwich Islands during a struggle over the theft of one of his boats.


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