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Killed by the elements, not the disease

The fate of the crew of Sir John Franklin’s expedition, aimed at finding the Northwest Passage, is still a mystery. New research tries to find answers to how the explorers died.
The two ships seeking to find a sea route linking the northern Pacific and the northern Atlantic Ocean did not accomplish their mission. The HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror were entrapped in the ice off the King William Island in the Canadian Arctic in 1846.


Researchers ruled out that scurvy and tuberculosis could have caused significant losses among the crew, and also dismissed the possibility of serious lead poisoning – even if the seal of the canned provisions contained high amounts of the poisonous material. They suggest the members of the ill-fated expedition were probably decimated by accidents and injuries caused by hunting and crossing the hostile Arctic terrain.

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