Some interesting facts about the Panama Canal
This August 15th, the Panama Canal reaches 108 years of operation, which is why we take the opportunity to share some curious facts about this wonder of world trade:
- The cost of the Panama Canal toll depends on the weight of the vessel and the number of passengers.
- The cheapest toll was paid in 1928 by Mr. Richard Halliburton who swam through the Panama Canal. This man paid 36 cents of a dollar, equivalent to his 63 kilos of weight. The transit took him 14 days and he swam the 49 miles (80 kilometers) of the Panama Canal.
- On average a ship takes between 8 and 10 hours to cross the Panama Canal.
- The Panama Canal works as a stair in which its locks (Gatún in the Atlantic and Pedro Miguel and Miraflores in the Pacific) are emptied and filled, thus allowing ships to pass through the isthmus.
- The first ship that crossed the Panama Canal was the American ship Ancón on August 15, 1914. Curiously, August 15 is the anniversary date of Old Panama (Panamá La Vieja) an archaeological site where the city of Panama was located. since its foundation in 1519.
- The Panama Canal has closed twice during its entire operation: (i) In 1915 due to a landslide on September 18. The landslide was of such magnitude that 10 million cubic yards of land were required to be dredged over 9 months and (ii) In 1989 during the US invasion of Panama.
- Gatun Lake is a large artificial lake and is a key element of the Panama Canal because it supplies its operations and helps the transit of ships through the locks. It was created between 1903 and 1913 and in those years, it was the largest artificial lake in the world.
By: Maryluz Castillo G.