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Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681-1741) was a marine officer in the service of the Russian Navy and an explorer of Danish heritage. He was asked by Peter I of Russia to join his fleet and participated in the Great Nordic War against the common enemies of his old and new home countries. After the war, the tsar wanted to explore and map the eastern part of Russia and Bering proved in 1728 that Asia and North America are not connected. Later, the strait between those two continents was named after him.