Tasman's Map

Abel Tasman was the first explorer to confirm that Australia was not the enormous continent that they were expecting. By sailing south of Australia he confirmed that it was not the continent that many were expecting to dominate the Southern Hemisphere. He also was the first European to discover New Zealand and the fact that he travelled north meant that some Dutch cartographers still wondered if this island might not be the missing continent. It should be noted that his explorations were sponsored by the Dutch East Indies Company and they kept his results, explorations and maps as a commercial secret and did not divulge his findings to rival companies and certainly not rival commercial nations like Britain, Spain or France. It would not be until the sailings of Cook over a century later which confirmed that New Zealand was two distinct islands and not part of a Southern continent.

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