Explorers discover 1840s wreck of HMS Terror

Physinews Reports: Explorers have discovered the wreck of HMS
Terror - the ill-fated British explorer ship that
vanished in the Arctic in 1845 during an
expedition to Canada's Northwest Passage.


The Arctic Research Foundation says the
vessel was found on 3 September and is a
"perfect time capsule", as the ship's helm is
in pristine condition.
HMS Terror was discovered 24 metres
underwater in Terror Bay on the coast of King
William Island in the Canadian Arctic
Archipelago - exactly where an Inuit hunter
said it would be.

The ship, under the command of Sir John
Franklin, had set out to find the long-sought
shortcut to Asia that ran from the Atlantic to
the Pacific via the ice-choked Arctic.
But he and his 128 crew died after the ship
became stuck in ice.

The wreck of another ship on the expedition,
HMS Erebus, was discovered two years ago.
It is thought to be the worst tragedy in the
history of Arctic exploration.
HMS Erebus and HMS Terror vanished
during an ill-fated Arctic expedition

The fate of HMS Terror has long been the
subject of novels, poems and songs.

Stories handed down by the aboriginal Inuit
people tell tales of cannibalism among the
seamen.

There are no plans to raise the two ships,
which lie about 31 miles apart.

Eight years ago, Canada unveiled a multi-
million dollar venture to search for the ships.
It was part of the Canadian government's
plan to assert sovereignty over the
Northwest Passage.

Other countries, including the US, claim the
passage lies in international territory.