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Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Ship ‘The Endurance’ Finally Found After 107 Years

After over 100 years, the Antarctic preserved this British ship in near perfect condition.

Shutterstock / Sergey Goryachev

The British exploration ship of Sir Ernest Shackleton, named The Endurance, has proven its namesake by finally being discovered in near perfect preservation after over 100 years.

Since over 100 years after the captain’s death, The Endurance, a beautiful ship has been found in a ‘jaw-dropping’ find after one of the most historic shipwrecks in British history.

In 1915, the ship sank after being crushed by ice in the Southern Ocean. It has recently been discovered in the Weddell Sea, a good 3008 meters underwater. 

Scientists and explorers are thrilled about the impeccable state of preservation it is in. Truly giving a reason for its name beyond just exploring. The ship still has its namesake clearly placed across the stern. 

Mensun Bound, a well-established marine archeologist, spoke to BBC News about the recent discovery: 

“Without any exaggeration, this is the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen – by far. It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation.” 

Bound claimed, “It is just a beautiful wreck.” 

The Arctic explorer it belonged to, Sir Earnest Shackleton, embarked on the journey to attempt to become the first person to ever cross the Antarctic ice sheet over land. Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of 27 men set off in December of 1914. However, only two days after setting off, The Endurance became stuck in a large pack of ice. It was unmoveable as the ice lifted the ship right onto its surface, off the water.

The men had no choice but to set up camp on the ice, where they managed to last for a few months before crossing the ocean in lifeboats and reaching the first hospitable island nearby, Elephant Island.

Leaving the ship behind was a must. 

From there, Sir Shackleton alongside five other seamen sailed to South Georgia, in the South Atlantic, where they managed to organize a rescue mission for the rest of the crew.

Since then, The Endurance was presumed long gone. However, with the effects of climate change affecting the ice packs in the Antarctic sea, the task of finding the abandoned ship was facilitated by the fact that the sea level of the Antarctic has been the lowest it’s ever been since the 1970s.

Dr. John Shears, one of the leaders of the recovery mission, claims that the images recovered from the ship were “jaw-dropping” and they are still amazed by its preservation – probably due to the harsh conditions of the sea. Although there have been certain sea creatures colonizing the ship, it still has not decayed severely. This is because the Southern Ocean has very little plant life, so the sea animals present are not accustomed to consuming wood. Bound, claimed, “The wood is as fresh as the day the ship went down.” 

Dr. Shears says, “We have successfully completed the world’s most difficult shipwreck search, battling constantly shifting sea-ice, blizzards, and temperatures dropping down to -18C. We have achieved what many people said was impossible.” 

Speaking about discoveries, read here how they revealed the mystery behind decomposed human feet on beaches…

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