(ORDO NEWS) — Canadian researchers have questioned the popular hypothesis that the death of the famous expedition was the result of poisoning of sailors with lead, which was used to tin cans in the middle of the 19th century.
The expedition under the command of Sir John Franklin was another attempt to discover, as they said then, the “Northwest Passage”, that is, the sea route connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean to the north of America.
We now know that there is such a route along the northern coast of Canada. But even today, not every icebreaker will master it.
In the middle of the century before last, sailors hoped to find something simpler. It was on these searches that the famous expedition on the ships Erebus and Terror was sent.
Entering the ice in 1845, the expedition disappeared. They were looking for her.
Special ships were even built for searches, such as the schooner St. Anna”, which itself will disappear with the Brusilov expedition in 1913, already under a different flag.
Sailors, or rather their bodies, were found only at the end of the next century, when helicopters made the Arctic (and not only it) a place within walking distance.
Since the 90s, a version has taken root that Franklin’s sailors died from lead poisoning, which in those days was used to tin tin cans.
Now zinc is used for this. Food canning itself was the latest technology at that moment, like reusable rockets for us, no wonder they screwed it up a little.
The authors of the 2018 study decided to compare the lead content in the remains of dead sailors with their “peers” from the graves of British sailors from Antigua, and also to compare the lead content in the remains of sailors who died during the first and second wintering expeditions.
It was assumed that if lead accumulated in the body, then there should be more of it in the remains from the second site.
The measurements carried out gave a negative answer to both questions.
Lead was equally in the remains from the first and second stops of the expedition and approximately equally in the remains of the Franklin sailors and in the bones of the sailors buried in Antigua in the same years.
This obviously means that the question of the reasons for the death of the expedition is open again.
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