The Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration was a period of intense voyages in the early 20s. At that time, Antarctic expeditions continuously pushed the limits of what is possible in order to make new and wider discoveries about the icy continent. During that time Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a lead figure in that period and has led three expeditions to Antarctica.
However during one of his well-known adventures in 1915, Shackleton’s ship named Endurance, was swallowed up by ice and sank to the ocean floor, leaving him and his crew members stranded for months. However, recently the long lost ship has been found. This is an incredible discovery which was led under the direction of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, the Endurance22 Expedition. The expedition combed the seafloor for the historic ship and finally struck luck after they located the long-lost shipwreck 3,008 meters deep in the Weddell Sea.
According to the images that was released by the organisation, the ship appears to be in relatively good condition with its wheel and name clearly visible.
Mensun Bound, the expedition's Director of Exploration revealed, “We are overwhelmed by our good fortune in having located and captured images of Endurance. This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen. It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation. You can even see ‘Endurance' arced across the stern, directly below the taffrail. This is a milestone in polar history. However, it is not all about the past; we are bringing the story of Shackleton and Endurance to new audiences, and to the next generation, who will be entrusted with the essential safeguarding of our polar regions and our planet.”
Shackleton’s aim with the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. However, in the middle of the expedition, Endurance became surrounded by ice in the Weddell Sea. Being packed in by the ice, the ship eventually was crushed and sank.
Shackleton and his 27-man crew had to make camp on the ice and eventually took lifeboats to an uninhabited island. Shackleton and five crew members then took a long open-boat journey to the South Georgia islands to arrange a rescue team for the crew left behind in Elephant Island.
There is still much to be uncovered and revealed as the wreckage is unveiled. Currently, short-form content regarding the expedition is being released on TikTok, and a long-form documentary commissioned by National Geographic about this incredible story is set to air in 2022.