Robert Falcon Scott’s ship the SS Terra Nova went on a doomed expedition to the Antarctic and then sank nearly seven decades ago, but today an American research team has found the long-lost ship.
The research team located Captain Robert Falcon Scott‘s ship while they were mapping the ocean floor, ABC reported. The team from the Schmidt Ocean Institute was working off the coast of Greenland when the ship was found.
Captain Robert Falcon Scott led the expedition in 1910, setting sail from Cardiff with hopes of being the first crew to reach the South Pole. Not only did they lose on that front — being beaten out by a 65-member Norwegian team led by Roald Amundesen, which arrived in Antarctica five weeks before Scott’s crew — but disaster struck in the frozen wasteland of Antarctica and more than half the crew did not make it back to the ship.
After the ill-fated Antarctica trip, the SS Terra Nova had quite a long life before sinking. Originally built as a whaling ship, the SS Terra Nova was bought back by its original owners to be converted into a seal-hunting vessel. During World War II it was used to carry supplies to US bases before sinking in September 1942.
Robert Falcon Scott’s ship was spotted by researchers when they noticed a feature on the ocean’s floor that they couldn’t identify. When they looked closer they saw that the object was exactly 57 meters long, the same size as the SS Terra Nova. They lowered a camera to the ocean floor and confirmed that the object was indeed Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ship.
Brian Kelly, an expert on the ship and its history, said the discovery was remarkable, the Scotsman reported.
“It’s an incredible discovery, especially as this year marks the centenary of Scott’s last polar expedition,” Scott noted. “It’s an iconic ship in the history of polar exploration and it is nice to know exactly where the ship is.”
The crew used historical pictures SS Terra Nova to confirm that the sunken ship was indeed that of Robert Falcon Scott.