In 1845, the Royal Navy ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror embarked on an expedition to explore the Canadian arctic. Both ships and all 129 crew members vanished. Search parties and scientific expeditions throughout the last 169 years have turned up evidence of lead-poisoning-fueled madness and cannibalism, including disarticulated skeletal remains unearthed in 1981 with cut marks in the bone. The preserved bodies of crewmen John Torrington, John Hartnell and William Braine were exhumed from the permafrost on Beechey Island in 1984 to determine cause of death. It is believed that lung problems, aggravated by lead poisoning from the cans of food aboard the ships, lead to deadly pneumonia.
Both ships and the majority of their crew have never been found. Their fates remain a mystery.