If you take a list of history's greatest explorers, and hold it up to a list of history's greatest bullshitters, you quickly find out they're the same list.
That's right; guys like Magellan and Marco Polo opened up new frontiers of human exploration and when they returned, told stories that were laugh-out-loud ridiculous. Why? Just for the hell of it, apparently.
6Ferdinand Magellan Names an Entire Country After Giants
Ever hear of a little thing called the world? Yeah, Magellan discovered that. Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration but between 1519 and 1522, Ferdinand Magellan did lead the first successful expedition to sail around the damn thing.
This damn thing.
We use the term "successful" loosely, since he didn't exactly "survive" it, but he was still pretty close. And since history books are like horseshoes and hand grenades in that "close enough" usually counts (we're looking at you Thomas Edison), Magellan gets full credit. He not only found a route to the East, he also took invaluable surveys of his route, documenting things like the Strait of Magellan and the Magellanic Penguin. He, uh... he really took advantage of that whole "if you're the first to see it, then you get to name it" thing didn't he?
Please Magellanites, throw down your Magellan sticks and get off of Magellan Beach!
So What Did He Lie About?
Giants. A race of giants.
While traveling around the southern tip of South America, Magellan and his men claimed that they came across "a naked man of giant stature" who was "so tall that we reached only to his waist."
He was also FABULOUS!!
Not only was the alleged native freakishly tall, he was also "dancing, singing, and throwing dust on his head," which is probably a 16th century euphemism for "acting totally stupid." So Magellan and company recorded meeting the world's first tribe of gargantuan naked ravers and, because the world was a "simpler" place back then, everyone just took his word that enormous dirt-heads populated the tip of South America. And they continued to take his word for 200 years. It gets better when you find out that Magellan dubbed this fictional race of huge idiots the Patagons, a name that stuck for the entire area for quite some time. As in, to this very fucking day.
Patagonia: It's like a whole country of Karl Malones.
What really gets our goat is that Magellan probably did meet a tribe of natives on the tip of South America, but they already had a name. They were the Tehuelche tribe and they probably averaged a towering 5'11. That was slightly tall by European standards of the day, but by no means giant. However, when you came back from traversing the great unknown, and all you have to regale the court with are your tales of people who were "kind of tall" and "didn't have an exceptional amount of dirt on their heads," you're going to lose your audience pretty fast.