Bacalao (also spelled Bacalhau, Bachalaos, Bacalhaos, Baccalieu, Baccalar) was a
phantom islanddepicted on several early 16th centurymaps. The name first appears on a map in 1508, but there are earlier accounts of "Bacalao"Fact|date=August 2008.
Some have attempted to link the island to Newfoundland, in an effort to bolster claims of pre-Columbian European discovery of the Americas. Off the north-east tip of Newfoundland's
Avalon Peninsula, there is a Baccalao Island, however, it was likely named after the mythical island.
In 1472, the Portuguese navigator
João Vaz Corte-Realwas granted lands in the Azoresby the king of Portugal, because of his discovery of the "Terra do Bacalhau"Fact|date=August 2008. Also, Bartolomé de Las Casaswrote about Portuguese voyages of discovery to "Tierra de los Bacallao"Fact|date=August 2008. This has led some to believe that Corte-Real reached the Americasa couple of decades before Columbus.
"Bacalao" literally means "
cod"; it as also a term used for "stockfish".
The Cliffs of Baccalieu", a song by T. Withers, tells the tale of a ship that is caught in a storm and is nearly wrecked.
Sacred Cod of Massachusetts
Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact
Brazil (mythical island)
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