Fun Facts Logo

Fun Facts about the
Panama Canal

Fun Facts For Kids

Did You Know?
Did you know that The Panama Canal is one of the 7 Industrial Wonders of the World? It is used on a daily basis by many ships travelling between North and South America. Read our facts sheet below for interesting information about this amazing stucture and waterway.

Fun Fact 1 The Panama Canal is a man-made waterway located on the narrow strip of land between North and South America.

Fun Fact 2 The Panama Canal connects two of biggest oceans in the world together - The Atlantic Ocean which lies to the west of America and the Pacific Ocean which lies to the east of America.

Fun Fact 3: The length of the Panama Canal is approximately 77 kilometres (48 miles) which incorporates artificial lakes and 3 series of locks.

Fun Fact 4: The purpose of the Panama Canal was to provide a shortcut for ships to take between North and South America.

Fun Fact 5: Before the creation of the Panama Canal, ships had to sail around Cape Horn to reach the other side, which meant that in order to travel from San Francisco to New York, almost 12,900 more kilometres had to be travelled by sea. Cape Horn can be described as the southern most tip of South America.

Fun Fact 6: It cost millions of dollars and thousands of lives to build the Panama Canal. The process was not simple nor straight forward and it took more than one attempt to successfully complete the project.

Fun Fact 7: The idea of building a waterway across the narrow strip joining North and South America was suggested many years before work commenced. Charles V of Spain authorized a study during the early 16th Century into the possibility of creating such a route.

Fun Fact 8: A Spanish Naval Officer called Alessandro Malaspina produced plans for the passageway between North and South America many years later, during the 18th Century.

Fun Fact 9: The first steps towards building the sea crossing finally commenced in the early 1880s when the Columbian government gave permission to the French to begin working on the project.

Fun Fact 10: The French attempt to build a sea level channel was terminated in 1893. They had encountered many problems and more than 20,000 lives had been lost in total. The main reason for loss of life was disease outbreak between the workers which included yellow fever and malaria.

Fun Fact 11: The French, despite terminating the project, had made some progress so the US government paid them for their equipment and the work they had carried out.

Fun Fact 12: Building work commenced once again in 1904 after plans had been made to build a canal which incorporated locks and dams. Despite workers being provided with better accommodation and living conditions, almost 6,000 lives were lost during the final construction process.

Fun Fact 13: The Panama Canal was officially opened on 15th August, 1914. It is now one of the greatest and most recognized waterways in the world.

Fun Fact 14: The first ship to pass through the Panama Canal was an American steamship called SS Ancon.

Fun Fact 15: Every year, approximately 15,000 ships and vessels travel the Panama Canal which takes around 8-10 hours to complete.

Fun Facts for Kids

Facts on the 7 New Wonders

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

2017 Siteseen Ltd