Here Is How The Panama Canal Is An Example Of Ingenious Engineering

Talking about the oceans, two of the most widely used oceans for trading purposes is the Atlantic and the Pacific. But being at two different sea levels, transporting goods from one end to the other seemed quite impossible. It’s been over hundreds of years now that things are carried from either side and the process is happening from the times when there weren’t any cars or airplanes and the only reliable mode of transport was shipping. Even though it involved many dangers and losses.

Initially, moving goods from one side to the other was done taking a longer route, going all the way around South America. Due to the stronger water current, it was impossible for the smaller or weaker ships to reach the destination. To avoid such circumstances, engineers began to look for the solutions. They came to a conclusion of cutting down the massive piece of land thus joining the oceans together.

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It was then, the Panama canal came into the scene. The canal uses an intricate system of locks for lifting ships 85 feet above the sea level. Inaugurated on August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal was the biggest engineering project of its time. Although the canal is benefiting to a great extent even in today’s time, around 25,000 workers’ lives diminished during the construction. During the 16th century, a Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovered that it was the thin piece of land bridging over, separating the two water bodies.

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Around 13,000-14,000 ships pass through the canal every year, and millions of ships have passed through since its opening. About $1.8 billion in tolls are collected annually from the ships going through the canal. But not all the ships can pass through the canal. It’s just the mid sized cargo ships, named Panamax which can pass through the canal that measures 320 meters in length, 33.53 meters in width, and about 12.5 meters in depth.

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Time taken by the ship to cross the canal is approximately 8 to 10 hours and the ship captains are not allowed to sail through the canal on their own. A canal pilot takes navigational control of every vessel and guides it through to the other end. Although the Panama has been a bliss to the mankind, it isn’t the only one of its kind. The construction began after the construction of Suez Canal that connected the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, which began in 1869.