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The Panama Canal: Location, Function, and Interesting Facts

The Panama Canal is a man-made waterway located in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. It allows ships to pass from one ocean to the other without having to go around the entire continent of South America. The canal consists of a system of locks, channels, and dams that raise and lower ships to different levels as they pass through the canal. In this article, we will explore the location of the Panama Canal, how it works, and some interesting facts about this important transportation route.

By carolynPublished about a year ago 3 min read
photo Michael D. Camphin, pexels.com

There are several interesting facts about the Panama Canal:

The Panama Canal is one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

The canal is considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century.

The Panama Canal is a man-made waterway located in Panama, in Central America. It connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, allowing ships to pass from one ocean to the other without having to go around the entire continent of South America.

The canal runs for about 50 miles, from Colón on the Atlantic side to Balboa on the Pacific side. It was built across the narrowest part of Panama, which is only about 30 miles wide at this point.

The canal consists of a system of locks, channels, and dams that allow ships to pass from one ocean to the other. When a ship wants to pass through the canal, it enters a lock on the Atlantic side. The lock is a chamber that is filled with water, and it raises or lowers the ship to the level of the next section of the canal. There are three locks on the Atlantic side, and three on the Pacific side.

The ship then travels through a channel that has been dug through the jungle and across the Isthmus of Panama. This channel is called the Gaillard Cut, and it is the narrowest and most difficult part of the canal to navigate. The ship passes through the Cut and into the artificial Lake Gatun, which was created when the canal was built.

After passing through Lake Gatun, the ship enters another lock on the Pacific side, which lowers it back down to sea level. The ship then exits the lock and continues on its way through the Pacific Ocean.

The Panama Canal is an important transportation route for ships traveling between the East Coast of the United States and the West Coast of the United States, as well as for ships traveling between Europe and Asia. It is also an important source of revenue for Panama, as ships must pay a fee to use the canal.

The idea for the Panama Canal dates back to the early 16th century, when the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa became the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the New World. However, it was not until the 19th century that the idea of building a canal across Panama began to gain traction.

The first attempt to build the Panama Canal was made by the French in the 1880s. They were led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, the same man who had successfully built the Suez Canal in Egypt. However, the French effort was beset by problems, including a high mortality rate among the workers due to diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. The project was eventually abandoned in 1889.

The United States took over the project in 1904 and completed the canal in 1914. The American effort was led by John Stevens, who was the chief engineer of the Panama Railroad at the time. Stevens oversaw the construction of the canal, which was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

The construction of the Panama Canal was a massive undertaking, and it required the efforts of thousands of workers. Many of these workers were immigrants from Europe, Asia, and the West Indies, and they faced difficult working conditions and a high mortality rate due to diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.

The Panama Canal has undergone several expansions and renovations since it was first built. The most recent expansion was completed in 2016, and it involved the construction of a third set of locks on the Pacific side of the canal. These locks are larger than the original locks and can accommodate larger ships, known as "Panamax" vessels.

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About the Creator

carolyn

Hello, i am carolyn. i am freelancer. I have a passion for writing stories. I write short stories, poems, mostly fiction.

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