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Ancient British Ship Found After 168 Years in the Canadian Arctic

Sep 14, 2016 04:29 AM EDT
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In hopes of discovering the Northern Passage, Sir John Franklin had set off on an expedition in 1845 with two ships, the HMS Erebus and Terror. The expedition failed with what was left of the HMS Erebus found in 2014. It was only recent that the other ship, HMS Terror, was discovered 168 years after in the Canadian Arctic.

The Arctic Northern Passage is said to be a sea route that connects the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. This route would greatly help British traders save money and time by not having to go around South America or Africa.

Sir Franklin was hopeful his ships would make the expedition, but both ships had vanished. Historians believed that the ships got stuck in ice and that its crew attempted to head back to Britain on foot.

Finally in 2014, the HMS Erebus was found off the coast of Nunavut. On the other hand, HMS Terror was only discovered by the Arctic Research Foundation much recently. The ships -- or what was left of them -- were found approximately 60 miles from where historians claimed the ships had sunk.

According to reports by The Guardian, HMS Terror was located in 24 meters of water. The three masts were broken but were still standing. Also, the hatches were closed, glass panes in the cabin were still intact and almost everything was stowed.

"We have successfully entered the mess hall, worked our way into a few cabins and found the food storage room with plates and one can on the shelves. We spotted two wine bottles, tables and empty shelving. Found a desk with open drawers with something in the back corner of the drawer," stated Adrian Schimnowski, the operations director of the foundation.

The condition of the ship and its contents certainly changes written history. History suggests that the crew of the HMS Terror met a tragic fate at sea. However, with the condition of the HMS Terror, it is most likely that the crew had shut down the ship and had boarded the HMS Erebus.

"It's almost certain that HMS Terror was operationally closed down by the remaining crew who then re-boarded HMS Erebus and sailed south where they met their ultimate tragic fate," stated Jim Balsillie, who had helped in establishing the Arctic Research Foundation.

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