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Detailed map of Christmas Island (Kiribati), from the official account of Cook's Third Voyage.

Kiritimati was discovered by the Spanish expedition of Hernando de Grijalva in 1537, which named the island as Acea.This discovery was referred by a contemporary, the Portuguese António Galvão, governor of Ternate, in his book Tratado dos Descubrimientos of 1563.

Captain James Cook visited it on Christmas Eve, 1777.