For more than a century, the location of Endurance—the ship which carried Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew on a doomed expedition to Antarctica before becoming trapped in the ice and ultimately sinking beneath it—had been a mystery.
“We have made polar history with the discovery of Endurance, and successfully completed the world’s most challenging shipwreck search,” said John Shears, the leader of the search expedition.
The Endurance22 team deployed a battery-powered submersible to the Weddell Sea floor, where it scanned for the wreck using sonar. Once the ship was located, the drone was equipped with cameras to document the find. The resulting images are remarkably clear—and provide an eerie window into the past.
Shackleton and his crew set out for Antarctica on December 5, 1914, aiming to achieve the first land crossing of the continent. Instead, just before reaching landfall, the Endurance became trapped in the vast expanse of Antarctic sea ice. After abandoning the ship, Shackleton and his crew endured for 21 months in brutally cold conditions with dwindling food supplies. Miraculously, all 28 men survived.
The discovery of Endurance and photos from the wreck bring to life one of history’s most epic survival stories—and conclude a long-standing mystery over the ship's demise. Explore photos of the Endurance, which was preserved for more than a century in the frigid, clear waters of the Weddell Sea.