Friday, 5 May 2017

Concerning the Crew of the Franklin

It's a well known folk song, among other things - the sad tale of the doomed expedition to the Arctic, all hands being lost to cold and starvation. The two ships commanded by Sir John Franklin, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, got stuck in the sea ice off Canada in 1846. Their final message, sent in April 1848, indicated that they were abandoning their ships to head south overland. The wreck of the Erebus was only found in 2014, and HMS Terror was found nearby in 2016.
Recently, remains of the crew have been found, both bones and mummified remains in the ice, scattered along the trail they took to try to reach safety. Researchers have been gathering DNA samples from the remains, identifying 24 individuals so far - and have found that at least 4 of the 129 crew members were women.

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