160 years after Sir John Franklin led his team of 129 men toward the Canadian Arctic, the Canadian government confirmed that in September 2014, they found the wreckage of one of the two ships that sailed on their mission.
The age of exploration
The disappearance of Sir John Franklin and his crew has become known as one of the great mysteries of the Victorian age of exploration. After abandoning their ships that had become locked in the ice, the men were spotted by Inuit natives staggering through the snow. The entire crew perished from starvation and the cold, only three were ever recovered.
A hero and a ghost story
It has been told that Franklin’s wife led a fleet of five ships in the recovery mission to find her husband, leaving scraps and cans of food in the snow in the desperate hope that the men would find them. Sir John Franklin has gone down in history as a hero of Victorian exploration, whilst his crew became the characters of a ghost story.
The ship was unearthed as a result of a five year effort by the Canadian government to assert Canadians ownership over the Northwest Passage which is becoming more frequently used as a result of its widening due to polar ice meltdown and global warming.
The find has been described by archeologists as “the biggest archaeological discovery the world has seen since the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb almost 100 years ago”.
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