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
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
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
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.