More than a hundred years later, we have found the remains of Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ sunk in the Antarctic

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On August 8, 1914, the ‘Endurance’ left British waters for a bay in the weddell sea from Antarctica. From there Ernest Shackleton and another 27 people would try to cross the frozen continent. Three years earlier, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had managed to be the first to reach the South Pole. The mission went down in the history books, Yes; but for something that no one would have suspected.

Because neither Shackleton nor his crew ever reached the pole, nor did they manage to cross the continent. About 100 nautical miles before landfall, the mission ran into a layer of sea ice that was too thick and the ‘Endurance’ was trapped for more than 10 months. Little by little, the ice swallowed the ship and the mission quickly turned into a life or death operation.

Ultimately, Shackleton and his sailors made it through the more than 800 miles of icy waters, sub-zero temperatures, and gale-force winds that separated them from South Georgia Island. The ‘Endurance’ was lost in the bowels of the ocean as a symbol of the end of the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration. Now, 106 years later, we have found it.

“We have made polar history”

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The mission Endurance22 It has cost m10 million dollars and has required combing an area of ​​more than 200 square kilometers to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula. But there, at just six kilometers south of the last recorded location and more than 3,000 meters deep, was the ship with three masts and 44 meters long.

And, as if that were not enough, according to Mensun Bound, director of exploration for the expedition and a marine archaeologist at the University of Oxford with extensive experience in shipwreck recovery, the preservation conditions were “the best he had ever seen”. It was not unexpected, due to the cold waters of the Weddell Sea and the lack of marine organisms that degrade wood, but the images and videos are truly amazing.

“We have made polar history,” expedition leader John Shears said in a statement. And reason is not lacking. Not only because of the symbolism of the discovery, but because of the technical feat of finding an object at that depth in such an inhospitable place with hurricane-force winds and temperatures below -18 degrees.

Images | Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust

On August 8, 1914, the ‘Endurance’ left British waters for a bay in the weddell sea from Antarctica. From there…

On August 8, 1914, the ‘Endurance’ left British waters for a bay in the weddell sea from Antarctica. From there…

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