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Discovery of a Long-Lost Ship near Antarctica

Credit: Unsplash

107 years ago, in 1915, the wooden explorer ship Endurance got stuck between ice floes in the Weddell Sea near Antarctica. The crew, led by Ernest Shackleton, had to abandon the vessel after it was crushed by the ice. Despite the assumption that the ship was destroyed, Shackleton recorded its coordinates. Recently, a team of researchers from the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust located the remains of the Endurance at the bottom of the sea.

During a voyage in February, the team made an astonishing find: the Endurance was situated very close to where Shackleton noted its location at the seabed of the Weddell Sea. The cold temperatures in the water preserved the vessel remarkably well.

Mensun Bound, the director of exploration at the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, expressed his amazement at the excellent state of preservation of the Endurance. He mentioned that even the ship’s name could still be seen clearly on its side, describing it as “beautiful” and one of the most well-preserved wrecks he has ever seen.

British historian Dan Snow explained that the extremely cold environment of the Weddell Sea, with temperatures just below zero, prevented the growth of wood-eating organisms that would typically decompose the ship. Other than some minor damage from local wildlife, the Endurance remains almost completely intact.

The remnants of the Endurance will be designated as a protected site under the Antarctic Treaty.

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