Photos: 10 Explorers Who Shaped Our World

Some of the bold souls who have kept the world moving ahead.
Photos: 10 Explorers Who Shaped Our World Public Domain

The modern world, from its countries' borders to their economies to their cultural distinctions, has been borne on the backs of the ideas, philosophies and power struggles of a lengthy list of movers and shakers. No list this succinct could encompass every impact player, and this excerpt from our special edition can't hope to fully reveal how we as a species explored the world to become a culture with access to the Internet and the stars. Rather, this group of individuals is meant to introduce you to a few and guide you on a journey through fascinating and enlightening times, places and cultures through the lens of a select group of people who created, conquered and enriched their way to prominence. Who knows where we'd be without them?

Whether they took to the sea—or the sky—to chart unknown territory or invented the means for humans to live a more convenient and enriching life, these bold souls kept us moving ahead.

This article appears in the Newsweek's special edition, 100 People Who Shaped Our World, by Issue Editor Tim Baker.

Orren Jack Turner/Library of Congress, Digital Colorization by Lorna Clark; AP Images; Private Collection/Archives Charmet/Bridgeman Images; Corbis; Oprah Winfrey Network/Discovery Networks; Private Collection/Bridgeman Images; Paul Sakuma/AP Photo
JULIAN ASSANGE: For someone so dedicated to exposing truth, Julian Assange’s background is shrouded in mystery. In 2006, the genius hacker and a group of like minds started WikiLeaks, a digital dropbox for whistleblowers to use anonymously. In 2010, WikiLeaks made global headlines with a video of U.S. helicopters gunning down Iraqi civilians. The ensuing debate about government privacy still rages today, and although Assange’s personal situation has only become more complicated, WikiLeaks has dragged some of our own country’s most covert actions out of the shadows and into the light, forever changing the concept of classified information. – By Senior Editor James Ellis Cancillería Del Ecuador