Panama Canal Opens

August 15, 2011 | posted in: Tech Chronicles | by

Technology that Shapes Our Lives

August 15, 1914

The Panama Canal, a 77-kilometre (48 mi) ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, opens.

One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via either the Strait of Magellan or Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (5,900 mi), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 mi) route around Cape Horn.

In total over 815,000 vessels have passed through the canal. It has been named one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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