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Pics: Wreck of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship found over a century after lost to Antarctic ice

(Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic/Released)

The lost ship of Ernest Shackleton, the British-Irish polar explorer who attempted and failed to become the first person to cross Antarctica via the South Pole between 1914 and 1916, has been found over a century after it sank due to Antarctic ice.

The wooden vessel, called Endurance, was lost in November 1915 after it was crushed by ice and eventually sank, according to the Associated Press.

A group of scientists from the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust say the vessel currently lies 3,000 meter — or 10,000 feet — below the surface of the remote Weddell Sea, about four miles from the location its captain, Frank Worsley, had recorded in 1915, the AP said.

(Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic/Released)

In an interesting coincidence, according to British historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, who accompanied the expedition to find the ship, said that Endurance was found 100 years to the day Shackleton was buried.

Snow added on Twitter that nothing on the wreck was touched itself nor retrieved, only that its position was confirmed and it was surveyed as the sunken ship is protected by the Antarctic Treaty.

The AP reported that Mensun Bound, director of exploration for the Endurance22 expedition, which set out last month to find the lost ship, said the captured footage of it reveals that Endurance is in remarkably good condition, with Bound saying “This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen.”

(Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic/Released)

On the fateful 1915 expedition which led to the sinking of Endurance, Shackleton and his crew abandoned the ship to live on the floating ice after it became trapped in the Antarctic ice and it only sank 10 months later, according to the BBC.

Miraculously, Shackleton and every member of the crew survived, the BBC added.

Shackleton along with five other crew members used a small boat to cross 1,300 kilometers of ocean over the course of 16 days to reach the remote island of South Georgia, according to the BBC. They then trekked to a whaling station where they could get help for the remaining men from Endurance still in Antartica, who were rescued in August 1916.

Dan Snow also shared video imagery of the wreck on Twitter, showing how well it has been preserved in spite of its status lying at the bottom of the sea for over a century.


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