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Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information or resources. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans. In human history, its most dramatic rise was during the Age of Discovery when European explorers sailed and charted much of the rest of the world for a variety of reasons. Since then, major explorations after the Age of Discovery have occurred for reasons mostly aimed at information discovery. In scientific research, exploration is one of three purposes of empirical research (the other two being description and explanation). The term is often used metaphorically. For example, an individual may speak of exploring the Internet, etc.