What is the Panama Canal?Asked on: Sep 13, 2023 07:36 PM
The Panama Canal is like a big water bridge or, if you will, a water elevator. Imagine you have two large bodies of water at different heights and you want to move your toy boat from one to the other. You could just pour some water from the higher body into the lower one until they're at the same level, but that would waste a lot of water. Instead, what if you had a kind of lock system where your boat could float in, then you could add or remove water until it's at the right level for the next body of water? That's basically what the Panama Canal does, but for real ships instead of toy boats.
It's located in Panama (hence the name), which is a small country in Central America that's squeezed between Costa Rica and Colombia. The canal cuts right through the narrowest part of Panama and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This is super handy because before it was built, ships had to go all around South America to get from one ocean to another - which was like walking five miles to your friend's house next door when you could just hop over the fence.
Building this mega shortcut wasn't easy though - it took 10 years and cost many lives due to disease and accidents. But since it opened in 1914, it has saved countless hours and dollars for shipping companies. So next time you order something online that comes from across an ocean, spare a thought for this marvelous piece of engineering!Learn more about Panama Canal