Explorers solve maritime mystery and find HMS Terror shipwreck

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.

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.

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