HMS Terror ship found in Arctic joining 2014's HMS Erebus discovery

In 2014, officials discovered the HMS Erebus, one of two ships that sank in the Arctic while on a mission to travel across the Northwest Passage. The location of the second ship, HMS Terror, was still being sought, though, a mission that itself has reached its conclusion thanks to the Arctic Research Foundation and a single tip. The HMS Terror was discovered in King William Island's Terror Bay on September 3; according to researchers, it is very well preserved and all signs point to it having "sank gently" to the sea floor.

The two ships comprised a mission in 1845 by Royal Navy polar explorer Sir John Franklin to travel across the Northwest Passage. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful and the ships were abandoned at some point; all of Franklin's 129-man crew died, making it one of the largest polar exploration failures in the Royal Navy's history.

Though searches were conducted for more than a decade after the mission's end, no signs of the boats were found and their fates remained a mystery. That ended earlier this month thanks to a tip from an exploration group's crew member who recalled having seen a large pole jutting out of the ice where the shipwreck was ultimately discovered.

Upon its discovery, the team sent a remotely operated vehicle into the water and through a hatch on the ship, taking a peek inside. What they found was a largely preserved ship that still contained many items from the crew — things like plates in the food storage room, a desk drawer with some item in it, and even a pair of wine bottles. The stern cabin is said to still have three out of four intact glass windows.

Ultimately, the ship lies about 60 miles south of where it was estimated to have sunk. The state of the discovery rewrites the narrative of what researchers believe happened — at this point it appears the crew had closed up the HMS Terror and then later boarded the HMS Erebus to sail futilely south.

VIA: The Guardian