Madagascar gets its current name from Marco Polo, the fourteenth-century Italian explorer, who described an African island of untold wealth called Madeigascar in his memoirs. Polo heard about the island second-hand during his travels in Asia. Most scholars believe that he described Mogadishu, the port located in present-day Somalia. Nevertheless, Italian cartographers attached the name "Madagascar" to the island during the Renaissance ( answers.com http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_Madagascar_get_its_name).
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