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This article is about the phantom island. For Portuguese dish, see Bacalhau. For Italian equivalent, see baccalà. For salted and dried fish product on which these are based, see Dried and salted cod. For the album by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, see Bacalao (album).

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.[citation needed] Bacallao literally means "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.[1] But, Bartolomé de Las Casas also wrote about Portuguese voyages of discovery to Tierra de los Bacallao.[citation needed] There has been speculation that Corte-Real reached the Americas a couple of decades before Columbus.

Off the northeast tip of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, is an island named Baccalao. Its European name was originally in the French language.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Diffie, Shafer, Winius, 1977, pp. 446-449


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