Amazing facts about the construction of the Suez Canal

Large ship briefly grounded in Suez Canal has been refloated

Stars Insider

27/05/24 | StarsInsider


The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. At 193 km (120 miles) in length, the canal provides a crucial and more direct maritime route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian oceans, and is one of the most heavily used shipping lanes in the world.

It's estimated that 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, so you can imagine that a traffic jam on the busy waterway would wreak havoc. Early on May 25, 2023, a ship from Hong Kong called the Xin Hai Tong 23 ran aground, blocking the canal for over an hour. The 620-foot (190-meter) carrier had to be rescued by several tug boats, which managed to free the ship and send it on its way. At least four other ships were blocked by the Xin Hai Tong 23 while it awaited rescue. Thankfully, this incident was resolved quickly and had minimal impact, but it's not the first time this has happened, and it certainly won't be the last. 

The canal itself took 10 years to build, and was opened way back in 1869. But how was such an ambitious and complicated civil engineering project accomplished back then? Click through this gallery and find out how they built the Suez Canal in the first place, and learn about the problems it faces today. 

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