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10 Amazing Explorers You've Never Heard Of

By Becky Ferreira Apr 24, 2013

9 of 11

Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir

Yes, you read her last name correctly, much though it looks like someone barfed up a bunch of Scrabble letters. Gudrid was one of the few female explorers to reach North America with Leif Erikson's band of Vikings around the year 1000. In fact, she married Erikson's brother Thorstein (kickass name alert!), who would sadly not survive to see the Viking landing in Newfoundland, Canada. Gudrid not only made it through, but bore a son in the New World: the first European ever born in North America. You'd think that would satisfy her wanderlust but nope! She traveled back to Scandinavia, and then embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome on foot. There's little doubt that Mrs. Thorbjarnardottir was the most well-traveled woman in the world in her day.

Tags: history, science, slideshows, life, people, explorers, earth week

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