Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten discovered the strait in 1616, while attempting to find a navigation link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and shortly before their discovery of Cape Horn. The strait was named in honor of Le Maire. The Le Maire Strait has been Argentine controlled, but has been a historical access route for Chilean vessels, under international maritime law. The stormy weather and strong currents that the waters around Cape Horn are so famous for also affect the strait. To avoid the risk of being blown against the shore of Tierra del Fuego, sailing ships often instead favour going around to the east of Isla de los Estados.
The Magellanic penguin is found in the Le Maire Strait; this penguin has a breeding colony on Isla de los Estados, the location of one of the more southerly Atlantic breeding colonies of the Magellanic penguin.
- Michael A. Morris. 1989
- C. Michael Hogan. 2008
- C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Magellanic Penguin, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
- Michael A. Morris. 1989. The Strait of Magellan, page 90 of 237 pages