More than 170 years after the mysterious disappearance of the british ship HMS Terror in the canadian Arctic, previously unseen footage of the wreckage were released Wednesday. They reveal an inner well-preserved that could shed new light on this expedition legendary. The Terror is one of two ships of the expedition of the british explorer John Franklin, part of Great Britain in 1845 in search of the northwest passage, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Arctic.

Visit the HMS Terror with these underwater images original Look on Figaro Live

Surprised by the cold, the 129 sailors of the expedition remained trapped for a year and a half in the ice cream before dying of hunger, cold and lead poisoning. The circumstances of the greatest tragedy in arctic exploration, which has been the subject of an american television series ( The Terror ), have remained unclear since then. The first ship, HMS Erebus, was found in 2014 in the same area.

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The images taken by the divers and the robot submersible, remote-controlled Parks Canada Agency reveal artifacts intact of the life on the ship. The wreckage was found in 2016 in 24 metres depth off the coast of King William island, in the North-West passage, to the east of Cambridge Bay in the Nunavut territory.

“We had the impression, by exploring the HMS Terror, that it was a ship recently abandoned by his crew, seeming to have escaped the passage of time”, explains in a press release, Ryan Harris, director of the archaeological project and pilot of the remotely operated vehicle used for the excavation. During 48 dives, including seven with the robot, “in water that was around the zero degree or less”, the team obtained images of more than 90% of the lower deck of the boat.

A last space unexplored and The images taken by the divers and the robot submersible reveal artifacts intact of the life on the ship. RYAN HARRIS/AFP

The boat was found placed right on her keel at the bottom of the sea, the propeller is still in place, the anchor lifted, and the roof windows are not covered, which suggests the fold of the ship, noted Harris. The sediments that blanketed the room of the ship’s captain, Francis Crozier, ensured the preservation of his office, in which the researchers expect to find scientific instruments and maps.

Only the personal quarters of the captain remained inaccessible, due to a closed door. The researchers hope to find documents written and sealed that the cold water and the sediment may have retained. “The writings may clarify what happened, the chronology of events, when the boats separated, and how they arrived where they were abandoned,” said Mr. Harris in a press conference.

The Terror and the Erebus are the parties of Great Britain with a hull covered with iron to ice, steam machinery, and provisions for three years in the Arctic. A boat sponsored by the widow Franklin, Lady Jane, was found in 1859 on King William island a message that has lifted the veil on a part of the mystery. According to this, the explorer and 23 crew members died on June 11, 1847 in unknown circumstances. On 22 April 1848, 105 survivors were reported to have left the ships on foot to join the mainland by the ice, according to this message. None have survived.

This engraving of the time shows the HMS Terror and Erebus trapped in ice. Rue des Archives/© Granger NYC/Rue des Archives

archaeological investigations have been carried out in partnership with inuit organizations, including the oral testimony transmitted from generation to generation have allowed us to locate the wrecks. The inuit communities of the Arctic will be the first to see the artifacts of Terror, which they are legally the co-owners. Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer who crossed the northwest passage for the first time with success in 1905, he spent two winters in the ice nearby King William island.

Ryan Harris and his team hope to return to continue the research next year, in particular, to explore the cabin of captain Crozier. “You never know what you will find in this space unexplored”.