When exploring Antarctica, researchers always find something interesting. In 2013, conservationists found a box of 100-year-old negatives that were frozen. Once they were thawed and investigated, they were discovered to be pictures from the Ross Sea Part - one of the most ill-fated polar expeditions of all time. They salvaged 22 pictures that offered a glimpse into what life was like during the tragic event.
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The team was working with New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZAHT) to do some exploring. The photos were taken by various members of the Ross Sea Party who worked with Ernest Shackleton, a famed explorer, in order to help him cross the continent between 1915 and 1917. At the time, no one had crossed the continent yet. The plan was to have two crews, one led by Shackleton and the Ross Sea Party, meet in the middle. Shackleton was to enter from South Georgia while the Ross Sea Party were to come from the Australian side of the continent.
Of course, that didn't happen.
After sailing to Antarctica in January of 1915, Shackleton's ship got stuck in a pack of ice. It remained in the same place for nearly nine months. After a while, the ice was so thick that Shackleton gave order to abandon the ship. They started to walk on the thick ice. The ship sank three days later and the team started walking, covering 1.5 miles every day. They simply tried to wait out the weather, but quickly ran out of food. They started eating dogs in order to survive.
Once the weather broke they reached Elephant Island on three lifeboats and then made their way to South Georgia.
During this time, the Ross Sea Party was on the other side setting up supply routes for Shackleton. They had no idea he wasn't going to make it. They faced the same inclement weather and ended up stranded as well. They were able to complete their entire mission, but their ship sank and several crew members died.
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See the pictures at the NZAHT from the Ross Sea Party side of the operation that give some insight into what life may have been like.