Famous Antarctic Shipwreck Found 'Frozen in Time'
Famous Antarctic Shipwreck Found 'Frozen in Time'
4:01

Famous Antarctic Shipwreck Found 'Frozen in Time'

Science
Speaker 1: More than 100 years after its icy demise. The aptly named endurance shipwreck has been found intact. We've got some beautiful footage of the wreck interviews with some of the team members who discovered it and a look at the cutting edge technology that helped uncover this law lost historic treasure. Let's get into it. Speaker 2: The ship is there. It's intact. [00:00:30] State of preservation is unbelievable. You can see the paint work doesn't get any better. It is a beautiful wreck Speaker 1: Trouble aboard. The endurance began back in 1915 during an Arctic expedition led by Explorer. Ernest Shackleton, the ship became stuck in the thick, Arctic ice and sank down to the ocean floor where it would remain undisturbed for more than a century. Speaker 3: It's conceivable that that it's mass and rigging had fallen over, um, as it was being crushed. So [00:01:00] it's conceivable that actually like a giant parachute. So it slowed dis descent down, which means it hit the sea bed and it didn't break up. Speaker 1: A whole suite of cutting edge tools were deployed to help researchers locate the endurance and avoid a similar fate. Speaker 3: It's one of the most inhospitable place on planet earth. The temperature has regularly plunged to less than minus 20 degrees. Cent grade. We've had blizzards. We've had thick snow. We've had storms. We've got drift patterns which keep pushing ice flows and icebergs towards us. We have to monitor those using [00:01:30] satellites to avoid thick ice. That might mean we risk getting stuck as well. We've got the world's most advanced underwater vehicles on this ship. Only a few have ever been made. They're prototypes. They're able to monitor 1400 meter square of sea belt for every meter. They travel forward. Speaker 2: It actually has a tether which goes all the way to the surface so we can stay with it as it is searching. We can follow what it's doing. We know exactly where it is and when we want to, we can actually see what it is seeing in [00:02:00] real time. Speaker 1: Thanks to the icy conditions, the lack of wood, destroying critters living in this particular part of the ocean. The ship was found in remarkably good shape Speaker 3: In enjoy 3000 weeks down the sea, but it's sitting proud the sea, but it's a coherent wreck. So it's in basically one piece it's as if it's been frozen in time, it's been preserved as a result, you can see the hatch waves, the stairways, the, the fixes, its you can see the master rigging the writing on the stone endurance and that Polaris, that pole star [00:02:30] right on the stern. Speaker 1: In addition to the cutting edge technology and the determination of the crew, environmental factors also contributed to the recovery of the endurance. Speaker 4: This is sea ice. This is frozen seawater. Normally in the we sea in this part of, uh, Antarctica, it can be two or three meters thick. We've been super lucky this year. Most of the sea ice here is only one meter thick. This Speaker 2: Project is, is not just about maritime archeology. It's also about ice science and Antarctica science and things are happening, you [00:03:00] know, right here beneath a hole, which are quite scary. In fact, very, very scary ice is, is shrinking away. The glaciers are disappearing. It's it's. This is a continent which is in trouble. Speaker 1: The wreck of the endurance is protected as a historic site and monument by the Antarctic treaty, which means that it can't be touch touched or disturbed. Speaker 3: We are not touching it. We're not taking anything from it. The only thing we are taking is data. Speaker 2: As I speak, we have the submersible down there conducting a 3d LIDAR survey of the whole area, including [00:03:30] the debris field. And with that, we'll be able to construct 3d models of the rack, which are millimeter. Perfect. If you like, Speaker 3: We are using techniques that have never been used that depth before to bring back the most accurate picture possible of that wreck. Speaker 2: It feels like, you know, all my life has kind of been, you know, converging on this moment. You know, this was my, my big white whale. And guess what? You know, we found it Speaker 1: As always. Thanks so much for watching. I'm your host, Jesse or see you [00:04:00] next time, everybody.

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