Antonio Pigafetta's journal is the main source for much of what we know about Magellan and Elcano's voyage. The other direct report of the voyage was that of Francisco Albo, last Victoria's pilot, who kept a formal logbook. However, it was not through Pigafetta's writings that Europeans first learned of the circumnavigation. Rather, it was through an account written by Maximilianus Transylvanus, a relative of sponsor Christopher de Haro, published in 1523. Transylvanus interviewed some of the survivors of the voyage when Victoria returned to Spain in September 1522.
In 1525, soon after the return of Magellan's expedition, Charles V sent an expedition led by García Jofre de Loaísa to occupy the Moluccas, claiming that they were in his zone of the Treaty of Tordesillas. This expedition included the most notable Spanish navigators: Juan Sebastián Elcano, who lost his life then, and the young Andrés de Urdaneta. They reached with difficulty the Moluccas, docking at Tidore. The conflict with the Portuguese already established in nearby Ternate started nearly a decade of skirmishes over the possession.
Since there was not a set limit to the east, in 1524 both kingdoms had tried to find the exact location of the antimeridian of Tordesillas, which would divide the world into two equal hemispheres and to resolve the "Moluccas issue". A board met several times without reaching an agreement: the knowledge at that time was insufficient for an accurate calculation of longitude, and each gave the islands to their sovereign. An agreement was reached only with the Treaty of Zaragoza, signed on 1529 between Spain and Portugal, atributting the Moluccas to Portugal and the Philippines to Spain. The course that Magellan charted was followed by other navigators, like Sir Francis Drake, and the Manila-Acapulco route was discovered by Andrés de Urdaneta in 1565.
Magellan's expedition was the first to circumnavigate the globe and the first to navigate the strait in South America connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean, its name derived from the Latin name Mare Pacificum (peaceful sea), bestowed upon it by Magellan.
Magellan's crew observed several animals that were entirely new to European science, including a "camel without humps", which was probably a guanaco, whose range extends to Tierra del Fuego, unlike the llama, vicuña or alpaca, whose ranges are confined to the Andes mountains. A black "goose" that had to be skinned instead of plucked was a penguin.
The full extent of the Earth was realized, since their voyage was 14,460 Spanish leagues (60,440 km or 37,560 mi). The need for an International Date Line was established. Upon returning they found their date was a day behind, even though they had faithfully maintained the ship's log. They lost one day because they traveled west during their circumnavigation of the globe, opposite to Earth's daily rotation. This caused great excitement at the time and a special delegation was sent to the Pope to explain the oddity to him.
Two of the closest galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds in the southern celestial hemisphere, were named for Magellan sometime after 1800. The Magellan probe, which mapped the planet Venus from 1990 to 1994, was named after Magellan. In addition, The Ferdinand Magellan train rail car (also known as U.S. Car. No. 1) is a former Pullman Company observation car which was re-built by the U.S. Government for presidential use from 1943 until 1958.