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Vasco Núñez de Balboa

Balboa, Vasco Núñez de (c. 1475–1519), Spanish conquistador credited as first European discoverer of the Pacific Ocean. In 1510 he cofounded one of the first lasting European settlements on the American mainland, Antigua in Panama. Encouraged by Native American tales of a wealthy kingdom on “the other sea,” in 1513 he led an expedition across the isthmus, saw the Pacific, and claimed it and all its coasts for Spain. He was later charged with treason and executed.

See also: Pacific Ocean.

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