The mystery of Franklin’s vanished expedition – new details emerged 176 years later

In 1845, British Rear Admiral John Franklin’s expedition set out in search of the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific and disappeared without a trace. The remains of the vanished sailors were discovered years later on an island in the Canadian archipelago, where excavations are still going on. What mysteries are revealed 176 years after the start of the expedition.

The expedition, which began in 1845, was carried out on two ships – they were called “Terror” and “Erebus”. Franklin and nearly 130 sailors circumnavigated Greenland, reaching the Baffin Sea. There, in August 1845, the expedition was last seen by the crews of the whaling ships. There was no radio or telegraph yet, so the intrepid Arctic explorers could only rely on their own strength.

In Britain, they began to worry about the disappearance of the Franklin Expedition only 3 years later. Several dozen groups were sent to search for the missing ships, but all attempts were unsuccessful. In 1859, thanks to the testimony of the natives of the Canadian Arctic managed to find the remains of the camp on King William Island, the bodies of the polar explorers and papers.

In 1981, excavations began there and are still going on. In 2014 and 2016, researchers were able to discover the wrecks of the ships Erebus and Terror to the west of the island. Having collected a lot of information, scientists gradually unraveled all the secrets of the disappeared expedition. Analysis of the remains showed that the bones contain too much lead. It is assumed that the members of the expedition were poisoned by the poisonous metal, which was used in those years to seal canned food, and this fact affected the cognitive abilities of the sailors, forcing them to make a number of erroneous decisions, which became fatal.