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Ernest Shackleton’s Lost Ship Discovered After 107 Years

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In 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton departed from the United Kingdom to embark on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition aboard the HMS Endurance. The following year, he and his crew reached Antarctica, but impenetrable ice in the Weddell Sea forced them to abandon their ship. While every crewmember survived, Endurance eventually sank into the sea, and she was not seen again for more than a century.

Now, 115 years later, Endurance has been located 9,842 feet below the Weddell Sea, intact and in good condition. The monumental discovery was spearheaded by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and the content platform History Hit.

“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," said the mission’s director of exploration, Mensun Bound, in a statement.

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The discovery mission, dubbed Endurance22, departed from Cape Town on the research vessel S.A. Agulhas II. On the vessel were scientists, historians and filmmakers capturing footage for an upcoming National Geographic documentary. They used Sabertooth underwater search vehicles built by Saab to locate the ship once they were close to where they believed she was located. Footage captured of the ship clearly reveals her name etched on the stern.

Following guidelines outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed by 12 countries in 1959, Endurance will not be moved or taken apart, but rather studied, mapped and photographed where she lies. 

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