First pictures from the wreck of HMS Terror

Video footage shows the interior of the famous ship of the Franklin Expedition

Plates, glasses and other everyday objects in the officers' mess of the HMS terror - recordings of a diving robot reveal for the first time the inside of the famous shipwreck. © Parks Canada, Underwater Archeology Team
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Unique Shots: For the first time ever, a diving robot has been taking pictures from within the HMS Terror - the ship of the famous Franklin Expedition through the Northwest Passage. The photos and videos reveal the interior of about 20 cabins in the 1845 sunken ship - including the captain's cabin. There archaeologists hope to find the logbook and other documents of the expedition.

The Franklin Expedition is still one of the greatest tragedies in polar exploration - and one of the most enigmatic. For to this day, it is not fully understood how and why John Franklin and his team died trying to cross the Northwest Passage. What is clear is that their two ships HMS Terror and HMS Erebus sank in 1845 in the icy waters of the Canadian Arctic. Her wrecks were found only in 2014 and 2016.

First look inside the wreck

For the first time, a team of underwater archaeologists has been able to investigate and map the wreck of HMS Terror. In early August 2019, they dived for seven days several times to the 24 -meter deep at the bottom of the sea lying ship. Using a small remote-controlled diving robot, they were able to gain unique shots from inside the shipwreck.

Dive through the interior of HMS Terror. © Parks Canada

The photos and videos show the interior of about 20 crew cabins, the ship fair and the cabin of Captain Francis Crozier. "What surprised us most was the incredibly good state of preservation, " said Project Manager Ryan Harris on CBC. The ice-cold water and a protective sediment layer helped to preserve the objects and the ship itself. display

Plate, glasses and a chamber pot

In the officers' mess in the front area of ​​the lower deck are on wooden shelves on the wall still some plates, cups and wine glasses. They bear witness to the meals that the crew of HMS Terror shared here. "Towards the stern of the ship, a long corridor leads into the darkness. Here, the footage reveals the open doors of the officers' cabins, "reports Parks Canada.

"A chamber pot, a desk, bunk and drawers - each cabin is a personal world, now frozen in time, " report the archaeologists. In one of the cabins hang two more firearms on the wall, in a storage room glass bottles have been preserved in wall niches.

The captain's desk in his drawers could contain important information about the expedition. Parks Canada, Underwater Archeology Team

Captain's desk could hold documents

Through an intact porthole, the divers could also look inside the Kapit nskaj te. Captain Francis Crozier had his quarters here. Inside, a large desk dominates the center of the room. He has locked drawers that, according to the underwater archaeologists, are likely to contain valuable information about the Franklin expedition.

"These recordings confirm that the ability to find written documents of the expedition is not only real, but that it is very likely that we will find a significant number of such documents, " the researchers say, "The wreck of the HMS Terror could thus contribute decisively to finally clear the riddle to the fatal end of the Franklin Expedition."

The archaeologists will analyze the photographs more closely in the coming months. They also hope to find important finds from the wreck during further dives. "Thousands of artifacts are still waiting to be found and recovered in HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, " Parks Canada said.

Source: Parks Canada

- Nadja Podbregar