Tierra del Fuego

The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego spreads over an area of 28,476 sq mi (73,753 km²), with the Strait of Magellan separating it from the southernmost tip of the South American mainland. The world-renowned Cape Horn is the southernmost tip of the archipelago.

The archipelago is formed of a main island and a necklace of smaller islands.

The origin of the name of the archipelago is attributed to Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first European to pass it in 1520. According to the popular legend, Ferdinand believed that he was seeing the many fires (fuego in Spanish) of the Amerindians, which he saw from the sea, and thought that the "Indians" were waiting in the forests to ambush his armada. Hence, the island was named Tierra del Fuego. However, as it later turned out that it was not true and the fire that the explorer witnessed was more likely from a natural source such as lightning.

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