If there is a New Zealand, then there should definitely be an Old Zealand, but where?
Well New York is named after York in England, and New Mexico is named after Mexico, but what (or where) is New Zealand named after?
The story dates back to a bit of confusion when the island country was first discovered.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) May 16, 2018
In 1640, a Dutch explorer named Abel Tasman arrived to what he had thought was a part Staten Landt, an island off the coast of Argentina.
For a while, it was called Staten Landt, and the Westerners which had arrived there believed that they were on an island in South America.
However, when Dutch cartographers Hendrik Brouwer and Joan Blaeu figured out that they were nowhere close of South America, so Blaeu named the area Nieuw Zeeland after Zeeland, the westernmost province of the Netherlands.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) May 10, 2018
Also made out of island, Zeeland literally means “sea land” in Dutch.
After James Cook made several trips to Nieuw Zeeland in the 1770s and decided to explore and chart its coastline, he anglicized the name to “New Zealand.”