Major explorations after the Age of Discovery

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**1. Major Explorations in the Pacific Region:**
– Dutch explorers Willem Jansz and Abel Tasman explored Australian coasts in the 17th century.
– Spanish expeditions from Peru discovered archipelagos like Vanuatu and the Pitcairn Islands.
– Luis Vaez de Torres explored New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, discovering the Torres Strait.
– James Cook extensively mapped Polynesia, reaching Alaska and the Antarctic Circle.
– Cook made three voyages to the Pacific, mapping the eastern coastline of Australia and New Zealand.
– Alexander von Humboldt’s Latin American expedition (1799–1804) laid the foundation for physical geography and meteorology.

**2. Advancements in Mapping and Measurement Techniques:**
– Navigators used instruments like backstaffs and quadrants to measure latitude accurately.
– Longitude measurement was challenging and required precise timekeeping methods.
– Cook’s voyages utilized innovative techniques like the lunar distance method and chronometers for longitude measurements.
– Accurate mapping of Earth’s surface required advancements in latitude and longitude calculations.
– European explorers gradually filled in the unexplored regions of the continents over centuries.

**3. Exploration of Arctic and Antarctic Regions:**
– Arctic and Antarctic seas were not explored until the 19th century.
– The North Pole was reached in 1909, followed by expeditions to reach the South Pole.
– Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in December 1911.
– Several expeditions to the South Pole resulted in injury and death.
– The Northwest Passage was a sought-after sea route through the Arctic.

**4. Exploration of Interior Africa and Amazon/Malay Regions:**
– Africa’s deep interiors were not explored by Europeans until the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries.
– David Livingstone crossed the Kalahari Desert and discovered the Zambezi River.
– Alfred Russel Wallace explored the Amazon and Malay regions, collecting over 125,000 specimens.
– Serpa Pinto, Capelo, and Ivens explored the southern African interior.
– Wallace proposed the Wallace line dividing Indonesia based on zoogeography.

**5. North Pole and Antarctica Exploration:**
– Various navigators encountered southern ice up to 1750.
– Captain Cook crossed the Antarctic Circle in 1773.
– Roald Amundsen successfully navigated the Northwest Passage in 1906.
– Peary claimed to reach the North Pole in 1909.
– Confirmation of mainland Antarctica sighting narrowed down to three individuals.

Major explorations of Earth continued after the Age of Discovery. By the early seventeenth century, vessels were sufficiently well built and their navigators competent enough to travel to virtually anywhere on the planet by sea. In the 17th century, Dutch explorers such as Willem Jansz and Abel Tasman explored the coasts of Australia. Spanish expeditions from Peru explored the South Pacific and discovered archipelagos such as Vanuatu and the Pitcairn Islands. Luis Vaez de Torres chartered the coasts of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and discovered the strait that bears his name. European naval exploration mapped the western and northern coasts of Australia, but the east coast had to wait for over a century. Eighteenth-century British explorer James Cook mapped much of Polynesia and traveled as far north as Alaska and as far south as the Antarctic Circle. In the later 18th century, the Pacific became a focus of renewed interest, with Spanish expeditions, followed by Northern European ones, reaching the coasts of northern British Columbia and Alaska.

Voyages into the continents took longer. The centers of the Americas had been reached by the mid-16th century, although there were unexplored areas until the 18th and 19th centuries. Australia's and Africa's deep interiors were not explored by Europeans until the mid- to late 19th and early 20th centuries, due to a lack of trade potential, and to serious problems with contagious tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa's case. Finally, Antarctica's interior was explored, with the North and South Poles reached in the 20th century.

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