Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famously lost ship Endurance has been found the bottom of the Weddell Sea more than a century after it sank. The Endurance was lost in 1915 after being trapped and crushed by ice before sinking, forcing Shackleton and his crew to embark on what became one of the greatest survival stories ever recorded.
A team of intrepid explorers and scientists discovered the wreck Wednesday off the coast of Antarctica at a depth of more than 9,800 feet. The 144-foot wooden ship is reported to be remarkably well-preserved, with its name clearly visible on the stern.
“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,” Mensun Bound, director of the Endurance22 expedition, told BBC News.
"The discovery of the wreck is an incredible achievement," said mission leader and polar geographer Dr. John Shears. "We have successfully completed the world's most difficult shipwreck search, battling constantly shifting sea-ice, blizzards, and temperatures dropping down to -18C. We have achieved what many people said was impossible."
Historian Dan Snow, who was part of the exploration, took to Twitter to announce the astonishing find.
The Endurance will be preserved as a historic site and monument under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty.