The Panama Canal
Travel all the Great Canal in 5 min. Epic timelapse video.
Video by: Jean-Philippe Angers
The Panamá Canal is a 48-mile (77 km) ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level.
Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in 1914, when the canal opened, to 14,702 vessels in 2008. By 2012, more than 815,000 vessels had passed through the canal; the largest ships that can transit the canal today are called Panamax. It takes 6 to 8 hours to pass through the Panama Canal. The American Society of Civil Engineers has named the Panama Canal one of the seven wonders of the modern world.