We know that the major export in today’s world is done via sea route. Almost all the major export is done via ships. By ships, I mean really big ships which are far bigger than Titanic. Now just like we take shortcuts while driving from one place to another, there are some routes made up for these ships to take a shortcut from one route to another rather than covering round about and the round about of ships involve covering multiple oceans to reach their destination. So to reduce this distance, Canals come into the picture. Here we will only talk about famous canals.
According to Wikipedia: Canals are human-made channels for water conveyance (supply), or to service water transport vehicles.
I think you got the picture now.
Let’s move to the original theme of this article and let me introduce you to the world’s 7 biggest and famous canals:
1. White Sea-Baltic canal, Russia
Also called as white sea canal, it was opened in 1933. Its total length is 227km. One of the main problems with this canal is its low depth which makes it impossible sometimes for biggest water vessels to go through it.
2. Rhine-main-Danube canal, Germany
This canal connects Atlantic ocean to the black sea. It is 171km long and was completed in 1992. This 171km journey is anything but a straight line between two rivers. The canal rises and falls with the surrounding landscape and because of the extreme height differences between the two rivers, a total of 16 locks had to be constructed to alternately lift and lower ships along their journey.
3. Suez canal, Egypt (one of the most famous canals)
This is one of the most famous canal connecting Mediterranean sea to red sea. opened in 1869, it reduces the journey between the North Atlantic and northern Indian oceans by 7000 km. Now that is impressive. Its total length is 193.30 km.
4. Volga-Don canal, Russia
Opened in 1952 this canal connects the Volga River and the Don River. With a length of 101 km, it provides a direct navigable connection between the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Azov, and thus the world’s oceans.
5. Kiel canal, Germany
This 98 km long freshwater canal was finished in 1895. It links the North Sea to Baltic Sea. An average of 250 nautical miles (460 km) is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula. This not only saves time but also avoids storm-prone seas.
6. Houston Ship Channel, Texas
This channel is one of the busiest US sea ports. Major products, such as petrochemicals and Midwestern grain, are transported in bulk together with general cargo. It is 80 km long and is predictably widened to accommodate even large and modern ships.
7. Panama canal, Spain
This 77km long canal connects Atlantic ocean with the pacific ocean. the average traffic of this canal as of 2008 was 14,702 vessels. By 2012, more than 815,000 vessels had passed through the canal.
Featured Image Source: panamatravelcorp.com