The Government of Canada unveiled unpublished images of the wreck of HMS Terror, a ship that disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the Arctic Ocean in 1845.
On August 7, Parks Canada’s underwater archeology team, in collaboration with the Inuit, set out to explore the wreckage finally located in 2016. For seven days, the interior of the wreck of the HMS Terror was explored scientifically and systematically for the first time.
The cold and deep waters, as well as the layers of sediments, made it possible to preserve the wreck. The Parks Canada team found dishes, beds and desks still in place. In addition, the captain’s cabin is the best preserved place.
“The condition in which we found Captain Crozier’s cabin far exceeded our expectations,” Parks Canada Manager Marc-André Bernier said in a statement. The furniture and cabinets are not only in place, but the drawers are closed and many of them are buried in the mud, thus enclosing the objects and documents in the best possible conditions for their durability. ”
All these artifacts remained frozen in time for 170 years, away from natural light, in icy water.
A famous expedition
HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are the two famous ships of the 1845 expedition of British explorer Sir John Franklin, part of England in search of the Northwest Passage across the current Canadian Arctic.
The expedition had disappeared shortly after its passage through Baffin Bay, between Greenland and the shores of Nunavut, in the Arctic Circle.
In 1859, an expedition sent by the widow of Franklin led to the discovery of a note evoking the tragic fate of sailors trapped in the ice and lacking food a year and a half later.
According to this note found on King William Island, Franklin and 23 of his sailors died under unknown circumstances on June 11, 1847.
The Erebus was finally found in Victoria Strait in 2014 and the Terror was located 24 meters deep near King William Island in 2016.
A complex project
The exploration of these wrecks is one of the largest and most complex underwater archaeological projects in Canadian history, according to Parks Canada. A press briefing will take place on Wednesday afternoon, during which members of Parks Canada’s archeology team will reveal the extent of their discoveries.
HMS Terror was added to the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror Wreck National Historic Site in 2017. These sites are not accessible to the public.
The first images of the wreckage were released as part of the annual Umiyaqtutt (meaning Inuktitut wreck) festival in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.
Source: Journal de Montreal