In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan sailed around the tip of South America through what is now known as The Straits of Magellan. When he crossed into the Ocean on the other side he called it the Peaceful Ocean because it was calmer than the area through which he had just navigated. He called it a beautiful peaceful Ocean. That is how it came to be called The Pacific Ocean. Pacific means peaceful. The word Pacific comes from the same root word as pacifist and pacify.