Those of us with a lust for adventure and exploration have perhaps romanticized the expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men. After their ship became ice-bound in the Weddell Sea, the men set up camp on the surrounding ice flow. Over the next nine months, they used everything they could from their ship until it slipped under the ice.
The loss of their ship forced the men to set out on a journey of 830 miles across the icy continent and were ultimately rescued at Elephant Island.
Antarctica remains the least inhabited and least explored continent on Earth. Many thought that Shackleton's lost ship would never be found. To everyone's astonishment - including those on board - members of the Endurance22 Expedition from Cape Town uncovered the final resting location of the ship approximately 4 miles from the place it originally sank.
Photograph showing a glimpse, between hummocks of snow, of the ship "Endurance", the Shackleton Expedition • Image Source: State Library of New South Wales
Even more amazing, the ship sat upright and in near perfect condition. The cold, super clear waters allowed for incredibly clear views of the ship's hull, deck, and the bright gold-colored name plate across its stern.
The depth of the wreck at approximately 10,000 feet will keep the average diver photographer from reaching it, but we'll be anxiously awaiting the upcoming National Geographic special.
Want to walk on a ship that sank over 400 years ago? Check out the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Caroline Alexander
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer