Why is Tierra del Fuego called Tierra del Fuego?
The Portuguese discover Fernão de Magalhães, who set sails 1519. Discovered this passage in 1520 while his global circumnavigation voyage.
Magalhães sighted a promontory on the 21st of October, the day of the 11,000 virgins and called it the “Cape of the Virgins” – Cabo Virgenes.
Due to a massive storm lasting for more than 36 hours, he dropped anchor on November 1, All Saints Day. Magalhães name this strait after the day it was first discovered – Estreito de Todos os Santos (Strait of All Saints), which was later renamed by the Spanish king in Estrecho de Magallanes. – The Magallanes Strait in honor of its discover Fernão de Magalhães.
The Magallanes Strait connects the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean and marks the northernmost corner of Tierra del Fuego.
While discovering the Magallanes Strait, the sailors spotted clouds of smoke over the neighboring island. They called the land south of the Magallanes Strait “Tierra del Humo” – Land of Smoke.
The smoke he spotted is due to the campfire ignited by the indigenous Selknam u Onas people who lived in the southern part of the island, to protect them self from the low temperatures in this area of the world.
The spanish king renamed the Island to Tierra del Fuego.