Deep-sea explorers have photographed the wreckage of a 19th-century British ship whose desperate crew reportedly resorted to cannibalism to survive after becoming trapped in ice.
All 129 onboard the HMS Terror died when the ship became marooned in ice in the Arctic Ocean.
In 2016, the wreckage was discovered, but only now has a remote-controlled submarine been able to photograph its rotting remains in close detail.
Chilling shots show crockery and bottles still remarkably intact in the ship’s galley or kitchen.
In another picture by Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team, a bunk, drawers and a shelf can be seen in one of the ship’s cabins.
The ocean has reclaimed much of the ship, with marine plants visible sprouting out of a table which belonged to the ship’s second-in-command Captain Francis Crozier.
Brit warship HMS Terror set sail on its doomed mission from Kent in May 1845.
Accompanied by support vessel HMS Erebus, she was captained by Sir John Franklin, a military veteran and wannabe explorer with a reputation for brutality.
Franklin’s mission was to try and force a way through the Northwest Passage, and forge a new sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean via the frozen Arctic Icefields to the north of Canada.
But the mission was a failure, with no way through the ice sheets, and ration tins becoming contaminated with poisonous lead due to not being properly sealed.
The ship and its crew vanished, with a reward of £20,000 – or £2m in today’s money – being offered for anyone who could rescue them.
Several tried, with an 1850 recovery mission being cancelled due to boats becoming stuck in ice.
But in 1854, Brit explorer John Rae made a chilling discovery, after hearing from an Inuit trader who had sold a seal to a group of starving Europeans, and returned to find 30 frozen corpses.
In a shocking letter to naval chiefs, Rae revealed that many of the bodies he had seen showed evidence that the crew had eaten each other in a desperate bid to stay alive.
He wrote: “From the mutilated state of many of the corpses and the contents of the kettles, it is evident that our wretched countrymen had been driven to the last resource — cannibalism.”
A terrifying note discovered in 1859 written by one of the crew revealed that Captain Franklin died within the first year of the ships becoming stuck, along with 23 others.
It added that the 105 survivors from the doomed expedition were planning to trek across the frozen tundra in search of civilisation — a voyage that none of them would survive.