Ferdinand Magellan, the Magellan Straight, and the Age of Discovery. Shiver me timbers, it was a grand time! Yet, on this day back in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan was killed during a mêlée on an island in the Philippines.
Now this may just seem like some random thing in the history of things, but Magellan’s story is one of THE stories of human endeavour. Yes, back in 1519 he set sail from Spain (although he was Portuguese) with five massive great ships and around 250 men.
He planned to find a route to the Indies, claim a vast amount of spices (gold dust back then), return home and be rich and famous. He also intended to try to circumnavigate the globe – no one had managed it at that point.
It all went hideously wrong, to put it mildly (you can read about this in Laurence’s Bergreen’s excellent Over the Edge of the World), as mutinies, murder, scurvy, religious ideologies, rampaging indigenous locals, layabouts, bad luck, weirdness, and lunacy all got in the way of the mission.
However, Magellan’s Second In Command did manage to drag home one knackered boat and 18 sailors in what was the first Earth circumnavigation.
Remarkably it was 70 full years until the feat was managed again. Not that this should put you off trying something analogous… obviously the whole circling the globe thing’s been done, but here our FIVE things we can recommend someone to try. Innit.
Grow The First Turnip Farm In Space
Space. It’s the new frontier for humans, much like going round the globe was a massive thing for Magellan and co. circa 1520. Now we’ve been in space, though, and it’s a bit massive.
So massive, in fact, humans can’t really do much there. Back on Earth, as we all know, there is a turnip crisis on! So, why not use space to grow more turnips? Sorted! And It would be a stunning first, too. Whoo!
Listen To A Justin Bieber Song Without Vomiting Blood
Lots of teenage girls manage this, but we’re talking about an ADULT. Let’s face it, it’s virtually impossible to listen to a Bieber tune without being rendered invalid with all manner of vile diseases. Do YOU dare be the first adult human to change this?
Hold The Largest Mass Donkey Braying Congregation In History
“EEEEOORR!” Hilarious as this bit of donkey braying is, no one has ever really held a mass (and we mean thousands) Donkey Braying ceremony to gain a new World Record. Brilliant? YES!
Be the First Human To Marry A Black Widow Spider
So the consummation night would be a bit terrifying, but history would record you as the first husband to one of the Earth’s most dangerous beasts. Cool, eh?
What’s even better is, if you got in a fight, no one would come near you as the Black Widow would defend you honour! Except, of course, it wouldn’t. It would bite you, and you’d writhe in agony for a forthnight. Women, eh?
Invent A New Type Of Sock That Doesn’t Get Smelly
Socks stink if you wear them after a few days. This is due to the human foot, which often stinks as it sweats a lot, and doesn’t so as much air as other stuff humans have.
Such as noses. So, we propose inventing a new sock out of salt, aspic, brake fluid, deodorant, and semtex in order to get those depraved BO foot issues away. Huzzah!