The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal is one of the most strategic artificial waterways in the world and one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.
The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway that cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. It is a lock-type canal, owned and administered by the Republic of Panama. The American Society of Civil Engineers has ranked the Panama Canal one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
The canal is one of the most strategic artificial waterways in the world and one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. France began work on the canal in 1881, but stopped due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States took over the project in 1904 and opened the canal on August 15, 1914.
The Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous cape route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan.
Ships sailing between the east and west coasts of the United States, which otherwise would be obliged to round Cape Horn in South America, shorten their voyage by about 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km) by using the canal. Savings of up to 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km) are also made on voyages between one coast of North America and ports on the other side of South America. Ships sailing between Europe and East Asia or Australia can save as much as 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km) by using the canal.