Nature and science

Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site

Climate change

The Arctic of John Franklin’s time was not the Arctic of today. Learn how climate and weather conditions may have affected the expedition.

Marine biology

Marine biologists are studying the ecosystems at the wreck sites to better understand how arctic marine life has affected the shipwrecks.

In an innovative collaborative effort, Parks Canada and Inuit are working together on a multiyear investigation of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Experts anticipate that the thousands of artifacts remaining on the two shipwrecks - which may include written documents – together with Inuit knowledge will help further unravel the mystery of the Franklin Expedition.

Inuit knowledge, or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, helped preserve some of the earliest known encounters by Inuit of the Franklin Expedition, and aided in the discovery of each wreck. This wealth of knowledge, of the land and its history, will continue to aid in modern research as the wrecks and the surrounding landscape is documented.


The location of the Erebus and Terror had been a mystery for over 150 years, after Sir John Franklin and his crew went missing in 1846. But with the powerful combination of traditional Inuit knowledge and modern technology, the ships were discovered in 2014 and 2016, resting on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean near King William Island, also known as Qikiqtaq.

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