Bacalao (phantom island)
Bacalao, Bacallao, or Terra do Bacalhau was a phantom island depicted on several early 16th century Portuguese maps and nautical charts. The name first appears on a chart in 1508, but there are earlier accounts of Bacalao. The name is a variation of bacalhau, meaning "cod" or "stockfish".
According to Gaspar Frutuoso in his work Saudades da Terra, written in the 1570s, the Portuguese navigator João Vaz Corte-Real in 1472 was granted lands in the Azores by the king of Portugal, because of his discovery of the Terras do Bacalhau. Historians do not consider the work of Frutuoso as very reliable, as it contains a great deal of misinformation. But, Bartolomé de Las Casas also wrote about Portuguese voyages of discovery to Tierra de los Bacallao. There has been speculation that Corte-Real reached the Americas a couple of decades before Columbus.
- Diffie, Shafer, Winius, 1977, pp. 446-449
- Diffie, Bailey Wallys; Shafer, Boyd C.; Winius, George Davison (1977), Foundations of the Portuguese Empire, 1415-1580, U of Minnesota Press, ISBN 9780816607822
- SILVA, A. J. M. (2015), The fable of the cod and the promised sea. About Portuguese traditions of bacalhau, in BARATA, F. T- and ROCHA, J. M. (eds.), Heritages and Memories from the Sea, Proceedings of the 1st International Conference of the UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage and Traditional Know-How: Linking Heritage, 14–16 January 2015. University of Evora, Évora, pp. 130–143. PDF version
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