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Wreck of HMS 'Terror' - a time capsule 170 years old - video

Canadian researchers have published documentation gathered during research conducted on the wreck of the legendary vessel HMS “Terror”, whose wreck was discovered in the Arctic in 2016. The materials that were collected during the seven-day expedition are simply breathtaking, allowing a glimpse into the past and giving an idea of life on a research ship
Published: September 7, 2019 - 17:56
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:31
Wreck of HMS ‘Terror’ – a time capsule 170 years old – video

Canadian researchers have published documentation gathered during research conducted on the wreck of the legendary vessel HMS “Terror”, whose wreck was discovered in the Arctic in 2016. The materials that were collected during the seven-day expedition are simply breathtaking, allowing a glimpse into the past and giving an idea of life on a research ship in the mid-19th century.

During the work carried out on the wrecks of HMS “Terror” and HMS “Erebus”, a team of Canadian scientists cooperate with the local population. In such inaccessible terrain, the knowledge and experience of the Inuit prove to be a great support. Perhaps it is this element which could have been the key and turned out to be the missing link of the expedition from the mid-19th century?

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In 1845, two ships under the command of Sir John Franklin set sail from England, in search of the legendary Northwest Passage, and then after 3 years of hard struggle and sailing in extreme conditions, sank in the frigid waters of the Arctic.

Spread over seven days, the expedition, described as the most complex underwater archaeological undertaking in Canadian history, took place in early August 2019. The research vessel “David Thompson” arrived from King William Island on Nunavut on August 7, in unusually favourable weather conditions.

During seven days filled with successive ROV dives, 20 cabins and compartments were surveyed. Clear photo-video documentation was captured covering over 90% of the lower deck, including the captain’s and other officers’ cabins and the crew’s living quarters.

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The footage released shows that the wreck of the HMS Terror has survived fantastically. All, of course, thanks to the conditions in the freezing waters of the Arctic. Looking through the footage we see fantastic shots of the officers’ cabins, with beds, desks and shelves, some with items left on them just before the ship sank in 1848.

“Overturned armchairs, thermometers on the wall, stacked plates, chamber pots, sinks – often located in the correct position. We were able to see an amazing array of artifacts,” said Ryan Harris, a member of Park Canada’s underwater archaeology team.

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Since hearing of the vessels “Terror” and “Erebus” disappeared, more than 30 rescue expeditions have been sent to search for them. Unfortunately, none of them has ever found a trace of the ships or Sir Franklin and his 129 men. Only actions taken in recent years, allowed to locate both wrecks (Erebus was found in 2014 and Terror in 2016).

Source: The Canadian Press

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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