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Discarded Food Cans Litter the Ground - Beechey Island

A simple thing, some old rusty cans laying on the ground with the marks in the base of whoever had opened them to get their contents out more easily. I really wasn't expecting to see them, I had read about the Franklin Expedition and how the soldered cans had been implicated in the deaths of the men, I had seen the National Geographic film of the exhumations and autopsies, but really didn't expect to come across those self same empty cans 165 years later like so much litter on the ground. Like anything I guess it's the small details that make things seem more real. The grave markers in the previous pictures had obviously been replaced and we were told to keep a distance from them, so they had a more expected air of somewhat sanitized history about them.

These cans however were plentiful and obviously not considered important enough to warrant any particular attention. They seemed all the more poignant to me because of this, opened by men in the early months of their expedition still fully expecting to be successful and not imagining the horrors that were to befall them.

Air temp: +3º C Latitude: 74º 43' N Longitude: 91º 48' W


These are pictures from a cruise to the High Arctic in August 2010, from Resolute Bay Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
Pictures copyright Paul Ward. Pentax digital equipment.

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