What can mosquitoes have to do with geopolitics? Panama will tell you what is most direct. Today, you will find a fascinating story about the most ambitious superstructure in the world.
Today, the Panama Canal, which connects the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is still considered to be one of the greatest and undoubtedly most complicated superstructures in the history of mankind.
Its length is relatively small: only 81 kilometers and 600 meters. It is 65 kilometers by land, and 16.5 kilometers on the bottom of Limon and Panama bays. All these figures are interesting for sociologists, geologists, ichthyologists and, to some extent, historians. However, the Panama Canal is a real revolution in economy and shipping on our vast planet. One can only imagine how much shorter the route is for the ships that sail from the world's largest metropolis of New York to San Francisco. Before the vital canal was put into service, ships had to travel nearly 23,000 kilometers between the two cities. Thanks to the canal built by mankind, this section of the way was reduced to only 9 500 kilometers.
The canal is located in Panama, which translates from Indian to Russian sounds like "a place where there are a lot of fish". Panama is an amazing country in its beauty, and the Panama Canal is one of its main attractions, a kind of monument to the tenacity and heroism of people who took part in its construction. In 2012, on the pages of the most popular not only in the U.S., but also worldwide newspaper Ze New York Times, there appeared a list of places that are recommended to visit people who are fond of travel and tourism. Interestingly, this small list, by the way, was headed by Panama.
The Panama Canal is a waterway through which luxury yachts and cargo ships pass daily. By the way, its size allows the vessel to pass to the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific or backwards, up to 32.3 meters wide. The maximum length of the vessel shall not exceed 294 meters. There are three bridges above the channel, and you can watch the movement of ships on it from a car or train window: along the whole channel is a railway and a highway.
On average, one passage of the canal costs about $100,000, but the price depends on the displacement of the ship. That's why it's no surprise that Panama Canal's canal tax revenue annually accounts for 6% of the country's GDP. Records on payment as of July 1, 2016: the maximum - 829 thousand $ (337 meters container ship) and the minimum - 36 cents. This is the price for displacement of an American who sailed through the locks in the far 1928.
The Panama Canal is one of the longest and busiest artificial waterways in the world. It is the "Bridge" between East and West. Annually, about 17.5 thousand ships carrying more than 280 million tons of cargo (5% of world ocean freight) pass through the canal facilities. Daily - up to 60 vessels, monthly - more than 1000, and a total of more than a million passes have been made to date!
The construction of the Panama Canal lasted a total of 33 years. The great world powers spent on it almost $15 billion in modern equivalent and tens of thousands of American and European lives. Hundreds of millions of cubic meters of displaced soil, the world's largest dam and reservoir - it was a unique for its time engineering object, rightly called a new wonder of the world. It is an impressive man-made artery, a visible monument of infinite human capabilities.