As they huddle around the snowy, makeshift grave, a team of researchers prepare themselves for the worst. Once the coffin has been prized from the ice, however, they realize that nothing could have prepared them for this. There, staring back at them, are the open eyes of a man who’s been dead for over 100 years.
In 1845 Sir John Franklin headed out from England’s shores. He was bound for an unexplored section of the Northwest Passage, through the Canadian Arctic along the coast of North America. A grueling journey lay ahead, but Franklin was no stranger to long voyages. Indeed, he had already been on three, serving on two as the leading officer.
This particular journey initially consisted of 134 crew members across two vessels, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. The ships were well-stocked with tools – and also provisions to last for at least three years, including thousands of pounds of raisins, meat and pickles.