In 1522 one of the ships of Ferdinand Magellan - a Portuguese sailor, though in the Spanish service - completed the first voyage round the world.
Meanwhile the Spanish government was considering whether the Moluccas did not fall within the Spanish sphere of influence as defined by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494; and in August 1519 an expedition commanded by Ferdinand Magellan sailed from Seville to seek a westward passage to the archipelago.
The hope that a passage through to the Spice Islands would be found near existing Spanish settlements was now given up. One was sought farther south, and in November 1520 Ferdinand Magellan passed through the strait which bears his name and sailed across the Pacific. At last the existence of a continent divided by a vast stretch of ocean from Asia, and mostly lying within the sphere of influence assigned to Spain by the pope, was revealed to the world.