Terra Australis Incognita: the unknown southland.
No European had ever seen it. No European had ever set foot on it.
But it was supposed to be enormous and full of incredible possibilities. Dutch ships occasionally passed the coast of Australia by accident.
Dirck Hartogh and his crew stopped there once.
Their VOC ship Eendracht was actually sailing to Batavia, but had been blown off course and sighted the unfamiliar coast by chance.
Hartogh and his crew had no time to explore, but to prove to future generations that they had in fact set foot there, he had a pewter plate brought over from the ship and flattened.
This was inscribed with a text to testify to their excursion and then nailed to a pole.
Eighty years later, it was another Dutch captain who found it and brought it to Batavia: the first European ever to touch Australian soil.