28 August 2019

Exploring H.M.S. Terror

As reported by National Geographic:
The wreck of H.M.S. Terror, one of the long lost ships from Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage, is astonishingly well preserved, say Parks Canada archaeologists, who recently used small remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) to peer deep inside the historic vessel’s interior...

“We were able to explore 20 cabins and compartments, going from room to room,” says Harris. “The doors were all eerily wide open.” What they saw astonished and delighted them: dinner plates and glasses still on shelves, beds and desks in order, scientific instruments in their cases—and hints that journals, charts, and perhaps even early photographs may be preserved under drifts of sediment that cover much of the interior.

“Those blankets of sediment, together with the cold water and darkness, create a near perfect anaerobic environment that’s ideal for preserving delicate organics such as textiles or paper,” says Harris. “There is a very high probability of finding clothing or documents, some of them possibly even still legible. Rolled or folded charts in the captain’s map cupboard, for example, could well have survived.”..
Just as tantalizing is the possibility that there could be pictures of the expedition awaiting discovery. It’s known that the expedition had a daguerreotype apparatus, and assuming it was used, the glass plates could still be aboard. “And if there are, it’s also possible to develop them,” says Harris. “It’s been done with finds at other shipwrecks. The techniques are there.”
More information at the link and at this CBC report.   There must be a fantastic National Geographic television program in the works.


  1. The first link doesn't go to National Geographic. It's something about Estee Lauder.

  2. The Nat Geo link above goes to a Yahoo News story.

    Here's the correct link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/08/arctic-shipwreck-frozen-astounds-archaeologists/

    1. Thank you, Unknown. Some mornings I just click too quick with multiple tabs open and don't proofread my own entries.

  3. They made a movie about the expedition. Here's the History Buffs review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTgmCf82s3U

  4. What a great excuse to inject Stan Rogers:



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