Stephen Harper

Thawing Arctic ice reveals new clues to mystery of lost ships Terror, Erebus

Almost two centuries ago, 134 men set sail on two British naval ships to discover the fabled Northwest Passage, a trade route through the Arctic linking Europe to the riches of the East. They never returned. The Inuit, native residents of the North, tell tales of the three-masted ships caught in ice and of men afflicted by scurvy and going hungry, until finally they broke the biggest taboo of humankind: cannibalism.

Despite search efforts, neither ship was found. It was not until 2014 that the first traces of the expedition emerged, when divers located a shipwreck that they identified as HMS Erebus, named after the spiritual limbo between Earth and hell. Last month, the second big...