Anian, Strait of

ANIAN, STRAIT OF, was a legendary waterway separating Asia and N America, supposedly the western entrance to the Northwest Passage. The name probably refers to the Chinese province of Ania, which appeared on maps of the early 1560s. Francis DRAKE was seeking the strait in 1579 when he sailed north from California, as was James COOK 2 centuries later. In the meantime more than one mariner, including Juan DE FUCA, claimed to have sailed through it. George VANCOUVER finally disproved the existence...

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