Ghostly Footage Reveals Lost Antarctic Shipwreck the Endurance After 107 Years

The shipwreck of The Endurance–once steered by Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton–has been found, with ghostly footage revealing the ship that has been lost for 107 years.

Only two days into an Antarctic excursion in 1914, Shackleton's ship became stuck in thick ice. He famously saved the 27-man crew by telling them to abandon ship. The Endurance drifted on the ice, becoming increasingly damaged, for nearly a year before it finally sank in November 1915.

The stranded crew had to fight for survival after losing the ship, but all returned alive.

Now, explorers have finally found the shipwreck lying 10,000 feet below the surface of the Weddell Sea. A video of the wreck shows it to be in impeccable condition. Scientists think this is due to a lack of wood-eating microbes in the Weddell Sea.

The eerie footage shows the exterior of the ship before zooming in on the helm. Several sea creatures can be seen floating on and around the wreck.

Although broken in places, the ship's timbers are still together. Its name is also clearly visible in gold letters on the stern.

The expedition was organized by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, with the crew on board the South African icebreaker Agulhas II navigating icy waters and difficult terrain over ten days to reach the search area.

The crew is still on location to study the wreck and document their findings. The expedition was led by polar geographer John Shears with marine archaeologist Mensun Bound as Director of Exploration.

Ann Coats, British maritime historian and senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, told Newsweek that finds like this one are what drive archaeologists to search for weeks in "virtually impossible" conditions.

"Curiosity and excitement about the undersea world apply equally to exploration and to searching for shipwrecks," she said. "Many dramatic stories have surfaced about the crew's journeys for help, cannibalism, rescue voyages and rich finds.

"We can connect with wrecks by seeing them along the shoreline, but also through the lives of the people who built, supplied, and sailed in them. Shipwrecks can be dramatic, as well as tragic events, with a strong impact on local communities.

Endurance
The name of the ship is clearly visible on the stern Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic

Filmmaker Dan Snow was part of the team documenting the events leading up to the discovery. A documentary of the find, Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance is set to premiere on National Geographic's EXPLORER series this Fall. It will air globally on National Geographic Channels and Disney+.

The wreck will remain untouched and all artefacts will remain in place, where it has stayed for more than a century. Researchers said it will provide new insights into Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition.

"Because Endurance is a designated monument under the international Antarctic Treaty, no physical artefacts may be removed," Coats said. "However, Shackleton's heroic 800-mile voyage in the 22-foot Caird across the stormy seas to South Georgia to save his crew provides the drama here."

Dan Snow, co-founder and creative director of History Hit, said in a press release that this was "the most exciting and challenging experience" in his career so far: "The team has found not only the world's most famous shipwreck but also its most inaccessible.

"After going through storms, blizzards and thick sea ice, we have got some astonishing images of Endurance and a laser scan accurate to within centimeters. People thought the story of Endurance was over when it sank in November 1915, but it wasn't. This is the start of a new chapter."

Endurance
The ship is in impeccable condition and the timers are all still in place Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic